In Chicago, Apple unveils faster, cheaper iPad for students

Tim Cook made an announcement about the new iPad at the event.
Tim Cook made an announcement about the new iPad at the event.

By Ang Gao
Medill Reports

Apple is returning to school with a new iPad and enhanced educational resources.

The new iPad costs $299 for educators and students, but $329 for everyone else, the same price as that of the iPad released last year. Unveiled at Chicago’s Lane Tech College Prep High School on Tuesday, with Apple CEO Tim Cook on hand, the new iPad boasts increased online storage for students of 200 GB, up from 5 GB, on its A10 fusion chip, with a faster speed and 10-hour battery life.

Tim Cook spoke at the event about Apple's educational efforts.
Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke at the event about Apple’s educational efforts.(Ang Gao/MEDILL)

The new iPad works with Apple Pencil, which previously could be used only with the expensive iPad Pro. The new stylus, Logitech Canyon, costs $49 for students, and may also be applied to iWork, including Numbers, Pages and Keynote.

“We deeply care about education,” Cook said, linking technology to the liberal arts.

“Apple’s $299 iPad is a love letter to education,” said Apple Vice President Greg Joswiak, who participated in the announcement. The product release in Chicago was unusual for Apple, which traditionally makes such anouncements at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters.

Apple's vice president Greg Joswiak introduced the educational apps. (Ang Gao/MEDILL)
Apple Vice President Greg Joswiak introduced the educational apps.(Ang Gao/MEDILL)

The new iPad applies augmented reality to “enable new ways to learn,” Joswiak said, providing a better learning experience. He invited students to view artwork at a museum with Boulevard AR’s app, or to disect a virtual frog with the stylus through the app Froggipedia.

Joswiak also introduced an educational app, Schoolwork, for teachers to assign digital materials to students, write notes and see student progress, saying it “taps into the power of apps in the classroom.” Apple stated that it will keep all the data private for users. Schoolwork will be available in June.

Apple also revealed a series of educational programs and curricula, including Everyone Can Create, which provides free learning resources and teaching guides that help teachers easily coordinate drawing, music and filmmaking with lessons and assignments.

Enthusiastic audience at the event.(Ang Gao/MEDILL)
Enthusiastic audience at the event.(Ang Gao/MEDILL)

But Apple’s new iPad isn’t only for schools, Joswiak declared. It updates all the productivity apps with the support of Apple Pencil, making it possible to make “smart annotations” while using these apps.

In the classroom market, Apple is facing off against Google. Google’s low-cost Chromebook laptops account for nearly 60 percent of all devices in the classroom, according to research firm Futuresource, while Apple devices make up only 17 percent of the education market.

Coincidentally, Apple’s new flagship retail store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago is going on the market for perhaps as much as $170 million, after another investor bought the property for Apple’s use less than six months ago.

The Apple Store on Michigan Ave, Chicago. (Ang Gao/MEDILL)
The Apple Store on Michigan Avenue, Chicago. (Ang Gao/MEDILL)
Photo at top: CEO Tim Cook promoted the new iPad at the Apple event.(Ang Gao/MEDILL)