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Staying in control with Apple Classroom

Great teaching and the best technology can combine to make truly amazing lessons. Whether it’s more engaged students, improved digital skills or less time wasted on outdated machines, the right digital tools can make a big difference. If you’re already using iPad in school, none of this will be news to you. But have you heard of Apple Classroom?

Mike Laskey

Apple Classroom is a Mac and iPad app designed to make teaching easier and more seamless. In this article, we’ll focus on the iPad version, and explain how you can try using it for the first time. You can learn more about the app in Apple’s Getting Started with Classroom guide, or download it from the App Store here.
 

So what's it all about?

Apple Classroom is perfect for sharing work, managing learning and checking on students’ devices – all things that could otherwise prove time consuming or challenging in the middle of a lesson.

You can use it to load a specific document on anyone’s iPad in the class, and also to share projects with other teachers or cast a student’s work to a projector via Apple TV.

It’s as flexible and versatile as the modern classroom demands. And best of all? It’s completely and utterly free!

 
What are its key features?

To begin with, Classroom allows you to create a ‘class’ containing all your students’ devices as well as your own. (More on how to do this later.) Once you’ve got this set up, you’ll be ready to take full advantage of Apple Classroom’s excellent functionality.

You can organise your students into specific groups, giving you the ability to tailor assignments and resources to different abilities or desk spaces. You can launch a specific app on every student’s iPad at the same time for quicker starts to lessons, or lock their tablets into single-app mode to keep them focused. You can navigate to specific content within Apple Books, iTunes U and Safari to instantly show everyone in the room the same content at once.

But that’s not all.

Classroom acts as a link for students to share files with you at the tap of a button, so you can receive completed work as soon as they’ve finished working on it. The app also lets you see what any of your students are currently looking at on their device – perfect if you want to check up on their progress and see if anyone has finished ahead of schedule. It even provides a Class Summary that outlines students’ activity at the end of every lesson.

 
Why should I use it?

The main attraction is arguably control.

If you’re worried about students using iPad inappropriately, going off-piste with their device or locking themselves out of their Apple ID, Apple Classroom is a brilliant solution.

You’ll enjoy complete control of every iPad in your teaching environment, with the power to reset students’ passwords, assign them to shared devices or log them out at the end of class.

There’s no need to worry about students distracting each other, either. With Apple Classroom, you can quickly mute one or more devices to kill any unwanted noise – or lock an iPad to keep all eyes on you.

Other benefits include simpler resource sharing with colleagues, more immediate access to students’ work for efficient marking sessions, and quicker activity and display setups at the start of each lesson.

With Apple Classroom, delivering great teaching and learning experiences is just that bit easier. 

 
How do I get it?

Just download the Apple Classroom app from the App Store and you’ll be ready to start creating your classes.

If your school uses a mobile device management (MDM) solution, creating classes and adding students to them can be taken care of automatically with roster data.

In fact, by using MDM, our experts at Jigsaw24 can organise everything for you and populate all your classes and students through our Education Managed iPad service (which you can learn all about on our website).

Don’t worry if MDM isn’t available to you, though – Apple Classroom can be set up manually. Just enter your name and photo, select + to create a new class, and then give your students an invitation code to enter in the Classroom app on their iPad.

There are some requirements to take note of, though – namely that Apple Classroom only supports iOS 12.2 or later on iPad – so it’s worth checking your school’s devices will make the grade here before you dive in.

And remember: our experts are always happy to help you get set up with the correct digital equipment, especially with our Apple deployment solutions just for schools and colleges. 

 
Tips for teachers

Looking for lesson ideas? Read our article on using the iPad Photos app to create great activities check out our project guides on everything from coding with Swift Playgrounds to creating short films on iPad, or speak to our team of education experts on the details below to get further inspiration.

Want to do more with iPad in your school? Check out our review of the Everyone Can Create: Photo On iPad book for more iPad photography ideas, or download our comprehensive training guide for workshops to support your teachers and leadership teams.

Want to know more about using iPad in lessons? Get in touch with our team on 03332 409 290 or email education@Jigsaw24.com. For the latest news, follow us on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

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