Home Tech News Apple launches the ‘Apple Teacher Portfolio recognition, updates Schoolwork and Classroom apps...

Apple launches the ‘Apple Teacher Portfolio recognition, updates Schoolwork and Classroom apps – TechCrunch

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This morning, Apple announced a handful of education-related updates to its suite of classroom apps and a new recognition for teachers called the Apple Teacher Portfolio. Teachers who complete nine lessons where they learn foundational skills on iPad and Mac to become officially recognized Apple Teachers will be able to submit their portfolio of lesson examples to earn the Apple Teacher Portfolio recognition. They can then share their portfolio with their colleagues or use it to showcase their work.

Teachers can acquire the badge through the Apple Teacher Learning Center, Apple’s self-paced learning platform for educators. This offering is designed to help teachers learn how to incorporate Apple technologies into the classroom, including iPad and Mac apps to create art, videos, animations, recordings, page layouts, podcasts, data trackers, and music. Across the lessons, Apple provides templates as examples that teachers can customize or combine to do their projects that use either an iPad or Mac and Apple software like Keynote, GarageBand, iMovie, and others.

Apple

In addition, Apple today rolled out updates across its Schoolwork and Classroom apps and its “Everyone Can Create” curriculum, which has historically focused on taking advantage of Apple’s creative tools like iMovie, Clips, and GarageBand. In Schoolwork, teachers can share Schoolwork projects with colleagues by exporting their assignments, which can then be imported back into Schoolwork or other platforms. Other improvements to the sidebar navigation have made it quicker to access classes, projects, and student accounts.

Classroom, meanwhile, has been updated for remote learning — a feature that would have been more useful to have rolled out in 2020, amid the height of U.S. lockdowns during the pandemic. With the update, teachers can invite remote students to Classroom sessions where they’ll guide them to apps, view their screen (with the student’s permission), and track their engagement. The software has also been rebuilt using Mac Catalyst, which works across iPad and Macs, including Macs powered by Apple’s M1 chips.

The Everyone Can Create” curriculum has had several more minor updates. Its Drawing guide has been updated to include motion graphics and animation in Keynote. At the same time, Photos now covers the creation of animated GIFs using Keynote and the Camera and Photos apps. The Video guide will now explore creating short films using a green screen and other special effects, and Music adds new podcasting features using GarageBand, Apple says. Today, more than 5,000 K-12 institutions worldwide are using the curriculum.

Last year, Apple updated its Schoolwork and Classroom apps, with some updates to Schoolwork to support distance learning — like managing assignments over the cloud and support for calling students via FaceTime, for example. But even as the pandemic forced schools towards remote learning, Google jumped ahead of edtech rivals by aggressively giving away its software and courting teachers.

Its low-cost Chromebooks were being given out across school districts, doubling demand in 2020. Google Classroom, meanwhile, doubled to more than 100 million active users by April 2020, Bloomberg Quint reported. As of Feb. 2021, Google said the service was being used by over 150 million students, teachers, and admins, up from just 40 million last year.

By comparison, Apple didn’t say today how many users it has for its educational software programs. However, by encouraging teachers to create a portfolio they can share, Apple is helping to push towards greater adoption of its tools by directly involving educators in the process.

Apple Teacher Portfolio launched today and is available in the Apple Teacher Learning Center. The “Everyone Can Create guides” are a free download on Apple Books. And new Schoolwork and Classroom versions are now available in beta through AppleSeed for IT.

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