Apple Classroom vs. Google Classroom

Apple Classroom was released in March 2016, but from things I read online, or hear when talking to other educators, I feel that it still gets mistakenly compared to Google Classroom. I can absolutely see why that happens. Both products have very similar names, and both were created to help solve technology problems in the classroom. However, the truth is, these two products could not be more different. So, in this post, I wanted to take some time to run through everything that Apple Classroom can do, and compare that to Google Classroom, in order to give you some ideas on how you can use these useful tech tools at your school.

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iPad Screen Recording Tips for Educators

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The addition of screen recording in iOS 11 was a great feature for teachers and tech enthusiasts who wanted to show people how you can master the power of the iPad. However, it’s also a great way for students to show what they know. If your iPad is up to date, it doesn’t need any additional software, or devices, because this new recording ability is built-in to iOS 11. Screen recording on the iPad is a little different from screencasting on other devices, so in this post I am going to run through a few of my top tips for success when recording your iPad. Are you ready?

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How to Record Your iPad Screen in iOS 11

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One of the features that educators have been most looking forward to in iOS 11 is screen recording. There are lots of ways to record your iPad screen, and I’ve written about some of those in the past, but native iOS screen recording is likely going to be the most convenient option for most people. However, it’s somewhat hidden in Settings, so here’s a quick guide on how to set it up and start recording your own iPad screencasts.

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11 iOS 11 Features for iPad Educators

Apple describes iOS 11 as “a giant leap for iPhones but a monumental leap for iPads.” Whether you agree or not, there are a number of fantastic new features available for iOS devices when iOS 11 is released. What’s more, many of these additions are only available on iPads and that is great news for those using iOS devices in the classroom. In this post I wanted to run through a few of my favorite new iPad features for efficiency, power and ease of use. Here’s what you need to know. Continue reading “11 iOS 11 Features for iPad Educators”

Find Apps That Won’t Work in iOS 11

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When Apple launches iOS 11 this Fall, they are ending support for 32-bit apps. This means that there could be some apps on your iPhone or iPad that won’t work unless they are updated to run as a 64-bit application. Some of these apps will be updated by developers, others will not, but you can plan ahead by seeing which ones are compatible and which ones are not. So, here’s a quick way for you to find apps that won’t work when you decide to upgrade to iOS 11.

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Everyone Can Code With Apple’s K-12 Coding Initiative

Apple’s coding curriculum for schools has been expanded and updated recently to include a full spectrum of offerings for students in K-12 classrooms. It even includes the ability to code smart toys like Spheros and drones. So, if you have access to Apple devices in your school, you should definitely take a look at what this program can offer teachers and students. Here’s what you can expect.

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How To Make iPad Screencasts on an iPad

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Recently, I had the need to create a screencast of an iPad app for a teacher I work with. Normally, I would just AirPlay my iPad to my Mac, and then record (and edit) my video with Camtasia. However, this time I felt like doing something different. I wanted to explore the options for doing this using an iPad, because I am increasingly of the opinion that there are very few things you can’t do with just an iPad any more. As it happens, there are a number of apps that will let you do this, so in this post I am going to demonstrate one of those apps, tell you about the process I used, and as suggest some others that you might want to take a look at if you decide to try this yourself. Here’s what you need to know.

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The iPad Classroom Gear Guide


With an increasing number of iPads to choose from, and a selection of new ones released on a regular basis, it can be hard to decide which iPads you really need for your classroom. Is one iPad really any different from another? This quick guide aims to resolve that problem and help you pick between Apple’s current lineup of tablet devices – the iPad Mini 4, the 2018 iPad, and the iPad Pro. (Prices are listed in US Dollars).

The 2018 iPad (32Gb or 128Gb)

Education Pricing: starts at $299 each, or $2,940 for a 10-pack.

There is little doubt that Apple’s latest 9.7-inch iPad is aimed squarely at schools and colleges. It was released in March 2018, and was built to meet a price point that would help it compete with the recent deluge of cheap Chromebook laptops. Essentially, that meant a few compromises along the way, but the new iPad is still better than the device it replaced, (the 5th Generation iPad), not least because it now supports the Apple Pencil. It also has a faster processor and retains previous features like Touch ID, a 10-hour battery life, a great rear camera, and it weighs just one pound. What more could you want? See the 2018 iPad on Amazon (affiliate link).

Recommendation: If iPads are the device you are looking for, then this is the one to get.

iPad Mini 4 (128Gb)

Education Pricing: $379 each, or $3,740 for a 10-pack.

Apple’s smallest iPad has a 7.9-inch screen and sounds like it might be a great choice for younger students. However, the latest version is not as good a deal as it used to be. It’s priced at $379, which is a full $80 more than the new iPad, (see above). Some of that price difference is explained by the larger storage capacity, but this is a device that was introduced in September 2015 and has seen no hardware upgrades since it was launched. It’s not a bad device, it will work very well in any modern classroom, but it is hard to justify the additional expense unless portability and storage capacity are very high on your shopping list. Buy the iPad Mini 4 for less on Amazon, (affiliate link).

Recommendation: The only real reason to get this model is the size. If portability is your goal, this is the smallest iPad you can buy. Otherwise, the 2018 iPad is faster and cheaper. If it were me, I would get that instead.

iPad Pro: 2018 (64Gb, 256Gb, 512Gb, 1TB)

Education Pricing: 11-inch $749 or $7440 10-pack, 12.9-inch $949 or $4720 5-pack

The 2018 iPad Pro is available with either an 11 or 12.9-inch screen. It was released in November 2018. This latest update to the iPad Pro line is essentially a re-imagining of everything that an iPad has grown to become. It’s also, very powerful. For instance, Apple says the new A12X chip is faster than 92% of 2018’s notebook computers, and has graphics as powerful as the Xbox One S. The edge-to-edge screen mirrors that of the latest iPhones, and Face ID has replaced the home button. The new iPad Pro also supports the second generation of Apple Pencil which attaches magnetically to the iPad for pairing and charging. See the 11-inch iPad Pro and  12.9-inch iPad Pro on Amazon, (affiliate link).

Recommendation: This iPad is the embodiment of Apple’s vision for the future of computing. It likely has more power than you will ever use, but if you need the best tablet that money can buy, your search begins and ends right here.


iPad Pro 10.5-inch (64Gb, 256Gb or 512Gb)

Education Pricing: $599 each or $5,940 for a 10-pack.

The 10.5-inch iPad Pro was released in June 2017. It shoots 4K video and does 120fps slow-motion at up to 1080p. It has a True Tone display that automatically adjusts to the ambient light and wide color display technology for more faithful color reproduction. The 10.5-inch iPad Pro  has four speakers, supports the first generation Apple Pencil, and has a Smart Connector for accessories like the Apple Smart Keyboard. In short, it is designed for a pro user with pro needs. It could very well meet the requirements of your teachers and students. However, many schools will likely feel that the higher price tag is hard to justify, especially when the new iPad will still perform well in almost all other scenarios. See the 10.5-inch iPad Pro on Amazon, (affiliate link).

Recommendation: If you need an iPad Pro, and the new models are more than you want to pay, the 10.5-inch model is still a great choice. You may also find it on sale more often so there are deals to be had if you look for them.

Should You Wait For The Next New iPad?

Well, here’s the thing. There will always be a new model around the next corner. That’s how Apple, and other companies, make their money. If you see a good deal, or have to spend money by a certain date, then buy the one that makes most sense based on the information above. If you have the luxury of being able to wait a little longer, then do what I do, and consult the MacRumors Buyer’s Guide. They have a pretty good feel for what’s going on in the Apple universe and give you a handy Buy or Don’t Buy for each product in the lineup.

Apple’s New iPad for Education: What You Need to Know

Apple has released a new version of the iPad that could be working its way into schools near you soon. It replaces the iPad Air 2 and is simply called iPad. It features an A9 processor and is available in either 32GB or 128Gb versions. The new iPad has a retina display, Touch ID, and a 8MP rear camera capable of 1080 video at 30fps. It weighs 1lb and comes in Silver, Gold, or Space Gray.

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