In a press release on its Newsroom webpage, Apple announced that it’s unveiled a new self-paced professional learning offering, Apple Teacher Portfolio, “to help educators bring creativity to every lesson and any subject, no matter where learning happens.”
The company is also providing updates across its Schoolwork and Classroom apps and the Everyone Can Create curriculum, which take advantage of the latest features of iPad and Apple apps, according to Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations and Product Marketing for Enterprise and Education.
Apple Teacher Portfolio is a new recognition badge that educators can earn through the Apple Teacher Learning Center, the self-paced professional learning platform. The free offering helps educators make the most of Apple technology through each phase of their lesson planning to help students activate prior knowledge, explore a topic more deeply, and apply understanding, says Prescott. With 21 templates and lesson ideas inspired by the Everyone Can Create project guides, educators can enhance their work with engaging everyday lessons for students, using apps like Keynote, GarageBand, and iMovie, she adds.
New updates across Apple’s Everyone Can Create curriculum take advantage of the latest features of iPad and apps such as iMovie, Clips, and GarageBand. The Drawing guide has been updated to include motion graphics and animation in Keynote, while Photos now covers the creation of animated GIFs using Keynote, and the Camera and Photos apps. The Video guide will explore creating short films using a green screen and other special effects, and Music adds new podcasting features using GarageBand.
Apple says that educators will soon be able to gain even more insight into student activity with support for progress data and time spent on documents, videos, and links assigned in Schoolwork. New updates coming to the app will give teachers the option to share Schoolwork projects with colleagues, by exporting assignments created in the app.
Projects can be imported back into Schoolwork or to other platforms. Additional enhancements to the sidebar improve navigation with quicker access to classes, assignments, and student accounts.
For the first time, the Classroom app will support learning beyond the walls of a school. Classroom has always connected students in the same physical space with their teachers, and soon teachers will be able to invite remote students to join a Classroom session.
While connected, the same Classroom features that teachers are familiar with will enable them to guide students to specific apps, view their screen, and see a summary of their engagement. Apple says that, as always, it designed this feature with student privacy in mind.
Using their Managed Apple ID, the teacher can request to connect and the student can choose to accept. In addition, the Classroom app has been rebuilt using Mac Catalyst, providing a “seamless” experience on iPad and the Mac, including those powered by M1, Apple’s first chip designed specifically for the Mac.
A refreshed design and enhanced smart groups give teachers a snapshot of students’ status at a glance, including whether they’re online, joining locally or remotely, using iPad or Mac, or whether a device has a depleted battery. Apple says that all of this information is easy to access and read to help teachers maximize learning time.
Apple Teacher Portfolio is available today through the Apple Teacher Learning Center. The Everyone Can Create guides are updated and available as a free download on Apple Books. New versions of both Schoolwork and Classroom are available in beta now through AppleSeed for IT.