Even though it’s only Spring, and most kids (and parents) are thinking more about Spring Break than the next school year, it’s already clear that Apple’s newly-announced iPad will be the year’s must-have gadget for school.
Apple held a special, education-focused event in Chicago to announce the launch of the new tablet, and everything they said should be music to the ears of parents and teachers too.
Here’s what you need to know:
What is it?
An all-new 9.7-inch iPad.
What’s so special about it?
Glad you asked! Well, for starters, it’s more powerful than the previous model and it has full support for the Apple Pencil stylus, which up until now was reserved for the incredibly expensive iPad Pro. It uses Apple’s A10 Fusion chip, making it super speedy, and it supports all the cool augmented reality apps that both kids and their teachers love. You wouldn’t want to send your kids to school with a $1,000 tablet, right? Now they can do everything the larger iPads can do, in a much more student-friendly package.
If it’s more powerful and has more features, it must be even more expensive, right?
Actually, no. This is the most affordable iPad ever launched by Apple. With an eye on students and schools, Apple priced this new iPad at $329, which is a huge bargain. The Apple Pencil, which normally costs $99, is now priced at $89 for students, which is a small discount but every bit helps.
Sounds nice, but is that it?
Nope! Apple is sweetening the deal for parents even more by a massive amount of iCloud storage for free. Previously, Apple gave students a free 5GB of iCloud storage to hold whatever photos, videos, school projects, slideshows, and whatever else they needed to store, but now Apple is bumping that up in a big way. Starting now, students will get a full 200GB of free storage, which is enough to hold just about anything.
Why do teachers like it?
Apple is introducing a ton of school-focused apps to keep kids on task. A new app called Schoolwork lets teachers hand out digital assignments right from within the app, and kids can browse their work while teachers check in on their progress. The new Classroom app gives teachers control over what the iPad is used for when in school, ensuring that schoolwork takes priority over whatever the newest game or social app might be. These new apps will begin rolling out in June, so you can be they’ll be ready to roll when back-to-school hits in the fall.
All-in-all the new iPad seems like a pretty awesome package for kids, parents, and teachers alike. We’ll have to wait to see how the new apps work once they launch, but it’s safe to say that Apple’s tablet is becoming an incredibly useful tool for students.