University of Oklahoma students can now use Apple Pay across entire campus

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 31, 2015

Notch up another victory for Apple’s mobile payment platform as the University of Oklahoma announced Monday that it will begin accepting Apple Pay across its entire campus. The initiative will allow students to pay with Apple Pay using their NFC-enabled devices like the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch at any of the four-hundred service locations scattered across the campus, including restaurants and bookstores. Read More


iTunes U gains homework hand-in feature, one-to-one discussions, PDF annotations and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 25, 2015

iTunes U, Apple’s educational catalog on iTunes, has gotten a whole lot more useful with a significant update to the official iPhone and iPad app in the App Store.

As first reported Thursday by Re/code, iTunes U for iOS has gained an interesting homework hand-in feature and PDF annotations providing a timestamp when the student submits term papers, book reports and other work.

Other changes include an integrated grade book, one-to-one discussions, importing content from third-party apps, including Apple’s own Keynote, Pages and iMovie, and more. Read More


Apple promotes Lisa Jackson to VP of environment, policy and social initiatives

By Cody Lee on Jun 23, 2015

Apple on Tuesday quietly announced the promotion of Lisa Jackson, formerly the VP of environmental affairs, to a new lead policy position. As noted by The Washington Post, Jackson’s bio on the company’s website now reads Vice President, Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives.

In her new role, Jackson will not only continue to oversee Apple’s efforts to minimize its impact on the environment, but she will also be responsible for the company’s education policy programs such as ConnectED, its product accessibility work, and its worldwide government affairs. Read More


‘Toca Nature’ goes free as Apple’s App of the Week

By Cody Lee on May 7, 2015

Apple has just named “Toca Nature” its App of the Week for this week. This means that from now through next Thursday, you’ll be able to download the award-winning education software for both iPhone and iPad for free—a great savings of $2.99.

Geared towards kids, Toca Nature allows you to shape nature and watch it develop. Want to grow your own forest? Go for it. Want to create a mountain range and enjoy the view? You got it. Plants, animals, landscapes and more are at your disposal. Read More


LAUSD asking Apple for multimillion-dollar refund for failed iPad program

By Cody Lee on Apr 16, 2015

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) told Apple on Wednesday that it will not spend another dollar on the Pearson software installed on its iPads, reports local public radio station KPCC. Additionally, the school district is seeking a multimillion-dollar refund from the Cupertino giant for its failed technology initiative to put a tablet in the hands of each of its 650,000 students. Read More


Drexel University launches iPad vending machine for students

By Jake Smith on Apr 2, 2015

Drexel University has formed a partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia to provide an iPad vending machine to the University’s students and local residents, to make a dozen iPads available for further learning.  Read More


Words U makes you smarter while you text

By Lory Gil on Mar 6, 2015

You might call me a word nerd. One of my favorite things to do while writing is looking up synonyms. I absolutely hate seeing a sentence with the same noun in it more than once. When it comes to reviewing apps, you’d be surprised how hard it is to come up with a new word for “game.”

Words U is a messaging app that translates your conversation into sentences with alternate words. Instead of “Hi,” you’ll be saying “Salutations” to your friends. You don’t have to worry about your friends thinking you are being pretentious either. The conversations all take place within the app, so everyone is being a smarty-pants. Read More


Tim Cook to deliver commencement address at George Washington University

By Cody Lee on Feb 25, 2015

Apple CEO Tim Cook will deliver George Washington University’s commencement address at the school’s graduation ceremony, the university announced on Wednesday. The ceremony takes place on May 17, at the prestigious ‘National Mall’ national park in downtown Washington, D.C.

“I am delighted that Tim Cook has accepted our invitation to give this year’s commencement address,” University President Steven Knapp said. “I know our graduating students will be inspired and enlightened by his reflections on the lessons he has garnered from his distinguished career.” Read More


Annual Back to School promo launches in New Zealand and Australia with $25-$100 gift cards

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2015

Apple’s annual Back to School promotion launched today in Australia and New Zealand, as noted by 9to5Mac. Unlike last year when the promo included iTunes gift cards, this time around Apple Store gift cards are being offered to university students, students accepted to a university and parents buying for a university student.

A qualifying Mac, iPad or iPhone purchased is required.

The sale runs from January 30 through March 19. Read More


Google Classroom app lands on iPhone and iPad

By Cody Lee on Jan 14, 2015

Google today launched mobile apps on iOS and Android for its Classroom initiative. The service, which has seen 30+ million assignments submitted since its debut last summer, aims to help teachers save time, paper, and improve communication with students.

The app adds even more efficiency, allowing teachers to issue and track assignments from their phone or tablet. Students will enjoy it as well, as it lets them view and work on homework, with the ability to import from other apps, and live chat with classmates. Read More


Apple Stores to host free ‘Hour of Code’ workshops next Thursday

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 4, 2014

In addition to hosting Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump at the SoHo New York Apple Store as part of its Apps for (RED) promotion to benefit the fight against AIDS in Africa, Apple will be hosting another event at its stores, one tailored for students who are interested in coding.

Supporting the Computer Science Education Week which runs December 8-14, Apple’s free Hour of Code 2014 seminar will be taking place at its brick-and-mortar locations next Thursday, December 11. Read More


Apple launches new site regarding its ConnectED education program efforts

By Cody Lee on Oct 27, 2014

Apple today added a new section to its website detailing its efforts regarding President Barack Obama’s ConnectED education program. As part of its participation in the program, the company will be providing hardware, services and infrastructure to 114 schools across the United States.

According to the site, Apple will give each student at the selected schools an iPad, and every teacher and administrator will receive both an iPad and Mac. They’ll also be providing an Apple TV for each classroom, which can be used for displaying lesson content on larger displays via AirPlay. Read More


Minneapolis school district deploys iPads for 40,000 students, as LA schools suspend rollout

By Jake Smith on Aug 26, 2014

The St. Paul School District in Minneapolis has announced plans to rollout iPads to 40,000 students in its district, all payed for by taxpayer dollars. The school district has chosen a suite of apps that will be used by students, teachers, and administrators for enhanced learning in the classroom, including an app called Nearpod that can project images and videos, and gather instant responses from students to enhance engagement.  Read More


The best apps for learning a new language

By Lory Gil on Aug 24, 2014

I’ve learned three languages in addition to my native English over my lifetime. I took three years of Spanish in high school, two semesters of Mandarin in junior college, and four semesters of French in college. Guess what? I forgot everything. If you don’t use it, you lose it. Seriously.

If you used to know multiple languages but forgot everything, want to brush up on a language you don’t get to use very often, or just want to learn a new one, we’ve got a list of what we think are the best apps for learning a new language. Read More


Sequel to exquisite stargazing tool Star Walk now available in App Store

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 21, 2014

Yours truly used to be an amateur astronomer during his education years. And while I’m saddened because no longer do I have the time to set out to stargazing trips, my love for the stars has never waned.

And who could blame me?

Even nowadays, I’d sneak outside on a clear night whenever I feel like reliving the excitement of spotting breathtaking comets or gazing up at the shimmering Milky Way.

But instead of lugging around astronomy binoculars, compact telescopes and other heavy gear, you can see me exploring the night skies using just my iPhone and specialized astronomy apps such as Night Sky 2 and Star Walk.

The latter, by Vito Technology, is one of the best stargazing apps in business. Used used by over ten million people and the winner of Apple Design Award, Star Walk is beyond doubt among the best astronomy apps in the App Store.

As of today, a sequel to Star Walk, predictably called Star Walk 2, is now available on iOS as a $2.99 download for the iPhone and iPadRead More


Apple posts iTunes U 2.0 update with Discussions, creation tools and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 8, 2014

Keeping true to its promise to release a much-improved iTunes U version 2.0 on July 8, Apple today posted the update to the App Store. Now available free of charge for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, iTunes U 2.0 finally allows educators to create, edit and manage entire courses, directly on their iPad.

Enhancements for students include new ways to collaborate, with the ability to start class discussions and ask questions right within the app. Jump past the fold for the full reveal… Read More


Foundation announces complete E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth for iPad

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 30, 2014

Following-up on Apple’s announcement of the forthcoming iTunes U 2.0 update with new creation tools and discussion feature on iPads, Foundation – a non-profit behind E.O. Wilson’s “Life on Earth” – today announced launch of the complete series on iTunes U and the iBooks Store.

Provided free of charge, the first seven chapters in the 41-chapter series released today as interactive iBooks textbooks, with the remaining materials to be rolled out throughout 2014. In addition, the series is accompanied by an iTunes U course that gives learners access to course materials included in the Biology course… Read More


Apple announces iTunes U 2.0 with new creation tools and discussion feature on iPad

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 30, 2014

Apple on Monday announced a major new version of its iTunes U educational app with a number of new creation and discussion features for iPad. The new iTunes U 2.0 app, due July 8, will enable teachers to create, edit and manage entire courses directly on iPad for the first time, while students will get to take advantage of some interesting new collaboration capabilities, including the ability to start class discussions and ask questions right from their iPad… Read More


Education pricing for iPads now available

By Christian Zibreg on May 28, 2014

Eligible students, their parents, as well as employees of K-12 schools, have long been able to purchase Macs at educational discounts. As of today, educational pricing extends to iPads, including the latest iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina display.

As available through the Apple Store for Education, the entry-level Wi-Fi-only iPad Air with sixteen gigabytes of storage has been marked down to $469.

That’s a $30 savings over its normal retailing price of $499. As for the Retina iPad mini, you’re looking at a modest $20 discount for the entry-level model… Read More


BeHere app uses iBeacons to identify which students are attending classroom sessions

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 28, 2014

iBeacons, Apple’s cool indoor positioning technology in iOS 7 based on power-sipping Bluetooth 4.0 networking, is seeing some strong adoption across a variety of industries.

Grocery stores are embracing the technology and retailers like Macy’s and Apple’s own retail stores have deployed tiny iBeacon transmitters to put useful information on users’ Lock screens as they move around the store.

Theme parks, music festivals and sports venues are increasingly using iBeacons and one use case even involves giving bar patrons free access to Newsstand magazines.

The latest iBeacon implementation has to do with the classroom: a new BeHere app by a Brazilian company called Beelieve (free download) automatically takes attendance as students enter the classroom, using iBeacon transmitters… Read More

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