Apple Education Event: Additional Thoughts on Classroom

I listen to a lot of podcasts and many of them are technology-focused, which likely would come as o surprise to nobody. One of the announcement that Apple made at their Let’s Take a Field Trip event was that their iOS app named Classroom was coming to the Mac.

The Classroom app allows teachers to perform a variety of tasks. Some of these include:

Start, focus, or pause student work

  • Launch any app, website, or book on student devices with a tap
  • Lock devices into a single app to help students focus
  • Lock screens to pause work or refocus your class
  • Mute audio on student devices

See what your students see with Screen View

  • See an overview of all student screens at once
  • Focus on a single student screen
  • Students are informed when their screens are being viewed

What I heard many times was that the Classroom app was being ported to the Mac because the teachers are more accustom to the Mac. I understand the idea behind it. Meaning that teachers are not used to iPads. I think that for a percentage of teachers this is true, however I do not think this is the primary driving factor. Let us start with a scenario.

Imagine that you are a teacher with 25 kids. You are doing a lesson that involves showing the students the planets and what you are showing them is a video that is within the app. Along with this you would like to make sure that the students are paying attention. Since the iPad that you, as the teacher, are using is showing the app, so you cannot monitor what the students are doing.

Now, with the Classroom app on the nearby Mac, you can now keep an eye on what the students are doing while the video is playing, and if necessary put them back on task.

We are definitely in a transition time, but the immediate thought that teachers are “olds” and need to use a Mac to get stuff done. While that may be the case for a number of teachers, the ability to use the Classroom app on the Mac, in addition to an iPad, will allow teachers to monitor the students even if the iPad is currently in use.