Back to School Apps from Apple Education

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This year's back-to-school is different due to the current pandemic. Many of you will probably resort to online teaching and will only be interacting with students through the virtual world. This can be challenging particularly for teachers who are not used to this mode of instruction. As part of the initiative to help teachers (and students) tap into the educational potential of digital technologies in their 'new' teaching environments, we started a Distance Education section where we share a wide variety of EdTech resources and materials specifically curated to meet teachers' remote instructional needs. In today's post we are adding two more resources to the list. These are educational apps created by Apple to assist teachers and students in creating better and engaging learning environments.

1- Schoolwork

Schoolwork is a great iPad app that provides both teachers and students with a safe virtual space where they can interact, share resources, and foster their learning. Now that most of classes are conducted online, teachers will find the services provided by Schoolwork app much more helpful. As a teacher you can use the app to share homework assignments using (e.g., through Handouts feature), create and share classroom materials, share study reminders, class announcements, and many more.

Schoolwork also supports several other educational apps allowing thus teachers to "review an app's list of assignable activities, then easily assign one or more to a class or student". Also, teachers can add "PDFs, documents, web links, photos, videos, or even links to specific activities within an app". Teachers will be able to track students progress, view their quiz scores and points earned, and see how much time students spend working on activities. Using its built-in collaborative features, teachers will be able to work with individual students or with the entire class in real-time, they can add comments to students work, annotate their documents and many more.

Students can use Schoolwork app to view class announcements, access assignments, check on reminders, submit their work from within supported apps (e.g., Keynote, Pages, and Numbers), and many more. Check out this step by step guide to learn more about the educational potential of Schoolwork app.

2- Classroom

This is another excellent app from Apple to help you manage your  teaching/learning. It is also an ideal app to use to manage students devices. Once connected  to student iPads you will be able to do the following:
"- launch any app, website, or book for students with a tap
 - lock into a single app to help students focus
 - lock screens to pause work or refocus your class
 -  mute audio on students devices
 -  See an overview of all student screens at once
 - Focus on a single student screen
 - Share documents and links with your class using AirDrop
 - Show the great work your students are doing to the entire class
 - Use AirPlay to wirelessly present a student’s screen
 - Students are informed when their screens are being presented
 - Teachers can create groups to break students into project teams
 - Perform actions on entire groups or on individual students within group."

Check out this guide to learn more about Classroom and discover some of the ways to use in your instruction.