An Apple education event has been announced in order to allow the company to “hear creative new ideas for teachers and students.”
The invitation to the Apple education event revealed that it would be held in a Chicago high school on March 27 at 10 a.m. Taking the opportunity to get feedback from educators and students should both give Apple the data they need in order to better suit this demographic as well as give the company some good will when they could definitely use it.
An Open Dialogue
Apple has found themselves in a bit of hot water recently due to the admittance that they were, indeed, slowing down older phones. While this process may be necessary in order to protect the battery, the fact remains that Apple was anything but transparent when it came to the issue of iPhone throttling – causing many people to go out and buy a new phone altogether when a simple battery replacement would have done the trick. Apple is working to correct the issue with discounted battery replacements and the introduction of a new feature with iOS 11.3 that will allow users of older iPhones to turn off throttling with the understanding that their device may start to crash. While this Apple education event is probably not a direct response to their PR issues, Apple taking steps to listen to their community and take into account what they want and need is a good first step towards righting wrongs.
A Commitment To Education
As is to be expected, the details regarding the Apple education event were sparse. Apple generally is pretty reserved when it comes to releasing information regarding upcoming products or events outside of the official announcements and conferences. While we haven’t seen an event in this same vein recently, something of this sort of structure is par for the course for Apple. By holding an event in order to have an open discussion with the education community and receive feedback that they can further integrate into their products, Apple may be able to hone in on this profitable market more effectively.
While this Apple education event is an exciting development in the world of technology, it’s far from the first foray the company has made into the world of education. For quite some time, Apple has been building strong relationships with schools and universities – a strategy from which it’s easy to see the payoff considering how prevalent Apple gear is on campus.
However, Apple also has an interest in promoting the education of women – in some cases, specifically in programming. The new Apple “Everybody Can Code” program recently expanded to 70 different colleges and universities in Europe. The field of computer science and programming continues to be extremely male-dominated, and by pouring money into initiatives focused on women, Apple may start to make a dent in that disparity by chipping away at it a little at a time. Apple has also supported education in other ways, such as an announcement in January of their plans to support Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai’s work in women’s advocacy.
What Can We Expect?
As far as what else we know about the Apple education event at this point, it’s likely that it has to do with increased support of Apple products for educational purposes. Back in 2016, Apple released a new iPad Pro in the month of March that featured Apple Pencil support – a development that greatly increased the educational and creative potential of their popular tablet devices. The Apple iPad devices also feature Swift Playgrounds, which acts as a code education platform.
The invitation makes mention of a “field trip” which suggests that we may see some sort of augmented or virtual reality technology implemented in order to add a little spark to the traditional educational experience. Considering that CEO Tim Cook had stated that Augmented Reality has “broad mainstream applicability across education, entertainment interactive gaming, enterprise, and categories we probably haven’t even thought of.”
We’ll have to wait a little while longer to get a better sense of what Apple has planned for the Apple education event, but it should be a healthy combination of announcements of new features and an open dialogue with educators and students regarding the future of Apple in the school and the University.