Apple announces Learning Coach, a coaching program for educators

Apple has announced Apple Learning Coach, a new professional learning program for educators who coach teachers to get the most out of Apple technology. 

Additionally, the Apple Education Community, coming this fall, will be a new hub for Apple professional learning resources and a collaborative space where educators will be able to connect and share ideas. 

Apple also announced that Managed Apple IDs will integrate with Google Workspace, making it easy for users and IT to keep their organizational accounts in sync, along with updates coming to Apple’s Classroom and Schoolwork apps to help educators keep lessons engaging.

Apple Learning Coach is a free professional learning program designed to train instructional coaches, digital learning specialists, and other coaching educators to help teachers effectively use Apple technology in the classroom. Apple says that, through a mix of self-paced lessons and virtual workshop sessions with Apple Professional Learning Specialists, participants come away from the experience with an actionable portfolio, a cohort of peers, and the opportunity to apply for continuing education credits from Lamar University through the Texas Education Agency. Each Apple Learning Coach gains a deeper understanding of how to support teachers where they are, as they integrate technology into learning.

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has published a report certifying that Apple Learning Coach earns a Seal of Alignment to its coaching standards. The report states that Apple Learning Coach “is well designed, highly professional in approach, easy to navigate,” and further notes that the program “contributes to the pedagogically robust use of technology for teaching and learning,” and demonstrates it does “consciously, purposefully and meaningfully support best practices for digital age teaching and learning.”

Apple also shared its intentions to launch the new Apple Education Community. The site will serve as the hub for Apple’s depth of professional learning programs — including Apple Teacher and Apple Learning Coach. It will feature the Learning Center educators know and love, and introduce the Forum, launching in beta, which will serve as a secure, collaborative space for educators to connect and learn from each other.

In addition, Apple announced a new feature coming to Apple School Manager and Apple Business Manager: integration with Google Workspace identity services. Currently, Apple School Manager and Apple Business Manager support an integration with Microsoft Azure Active Directory. 

With this new integration, IT teams who use Google Workspace can experience the same benefits: directory sync and federated authentication. With directory sync, user records and Managed Apple IDs are created automatically. And with federated authentication, end users can sign in to their Managed Apple ID with their Google Workspace account, making for a simpler login experience to apps like Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Messages, FaceTime, and more.

Apple’s apps for education will also be adding new features this spring. The Classroom app will add a new agendas feature that will enable educators to create time-based outlines for class, and trigger associated actions in the app. For example, after 20 minutes of free reading, educators can schedule a stretch break with their favorite app or YouTube video.

 This new capability is built right into the Classroom app, with a highly programmable interface that eliminates the need to use a separate timer app. With Apple’s Schoolwork app, educators will be able to add multimedia such as an audio recording or video into assignment instructions, exit tickets, and try-again messages.

Apple Learning Coach is accepting applications from educators in the U.S. through April 19. Apple School Manager will feature integration with Google Workspace this spring. The Classroom and Schoolwork app features are currently in beta and will be available widely this spring. For more details, visit AppleSeed for IT. The Apple Education Community will launch by this fall, and membership will be free for educators and users who sign in with an Apple ID.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.