This afternoon at the annual WWDC conference, Apple announced iOS 9 (among other new Apple projects) launching free to the public this fall. But what does this have to do with education? Should you care? If your classroom uses iPads, the answer is absolutely.
Advances in the iOS operating system will bring a world of possibilities to single-device, BYOD and 1-1 classrooms using iPads this upcoming school year.
Some of the innovative new features include:
Using the iPad is much more multitask-friendly in iOS 9. Users will be able to see multiple applications on their screen at once, change the size of the split and manipulate both windows at the same time.
- What this means for educators: Switching between applications can be frustrating when working on an assignment. Being able to view two applications side-by-side will streamline this process and allow students to complete work easier and faster.
2. News App
The News app will replace the Newsstand app. Instead of having to purchase subscriptions to publications, students will be able to instantly follow publications like The New York Times; specific interests like Technology; and popular or personal blogs.
- What this means for educators: The News app will give students and teachers the chance to stay up-to-date on news that is important to them. Having access to a seemingly unlimited news stream will help facilitate current events discussions and give students a different perspective.
3. Notes App
An update to Notes shows vast improvements with iOS 9. This includes the ability to add bold titles, web links with previews, pictures, custom drawings and checklists to enhance the text of the note.
- What this means for educators: Students can use the native Notes app to talk thorough notes, complete homework and more. With easy note deployment through messages, mail and social media, this may eliminate the need for a third-party note application.
4. Battery Life/Low Power Mode
These new software enhancements will add hours of lifetime to the battery of each iOS device.
- What this means for educators: Longer use means fewer headaches keeping devices charged.
Instead of displaying an omnipresent uppercase keyboard, the keyboard on the iOS device will now use uppercase letters when the shift key is pressed, and lowercase letters when typing in lower case.
- What this means for educators: This seems like a simple update, but imagine elementary schools. Students learning letters will be able to visualize the difference between upper and lower case letters.
The update to iOS 9 is free and is expected to be available this fall. If you’d like to try the update before everyone else, check out beta.apple.com.