Apple has updated their 9.7-inch iPad, now with support for the Apple Pencil and improved specs. The company also announced what they’re doing to “spark student creativity” in the classroom.

The New 9.7-inch iPad

The new 9.7-inch iPad now has an A10 Fusion chip along with a higher-resolution touch sensor. The touch sensor enables support for the Apple Pencil, so now it’s not just limited to the iPad Pro lineup.

The new 9.7-inch iPad has an aluminum unibody design and a Retina display. With the addition of iOS 11, you can run a whole host of AR apps on the new 9.7-inch iPad. You can expect all-day battery life on the new 9.7-inch iPad.

The front and rear-facing cameras on the new 9.7-inch iPad offer better low-light performance and HD video recording as well as document scanning, moviemaking and FaceTime calls.

“iPad is our vision for the future of computing and hundreds of millions of people around the world use it every day at work, in school and for play. This new 9.7-inch iPad takes everything people love about our most popular iPad and makes it even better for inspiring creativity and learning,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Product Marketing. “Our most popular and affordable iPad now includes support for Apple Pencil, bringing the advanced capabilities of one of our most creative tools to even more users. This iPad also has the power of the A10 Fusion chip, combined with the big, beautiful Retina display, advanced cameras and sensors that enable incredible AR experiences simply not possible on other devices.”

The new 9.7-inch iPad starts at $429 CAD for the 32GB and Wi-Fi only model and $599 CAD for the 32GB and Wi-Fi & Cellular model. The Apple Pencil is sold separately for $129 CAD.

Apple also announced at the event, the Logitech Crayon, which is a cheaper alternative to the Apple Pencil. It can last up to 8 hours and charges over lighting and is currently the only MFI-approved stylus for the iPad. The Logitech Crayon will be available for $49 USD but it will only be available through Apple’s education channel and not available for the general public.

Schools can purchase the new 9.7-inch iPad from $399 CAD and the Apple Pencil from $115 CAD.

The new 9.7-inch iPad is available for purchase and available in stores later this week. It’ll be available in Canada, US, Australia, Austria, Belgium, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK.

The iPad will release in India, Russia, Thailand, Turkey in April and South Korea and more regions in May.

Creativity in Education

In addition to the updated iPad, Apple introduced their latest program to help spark student creativity. The new Everyone Can Create curriculum is a fun, free and easy way for teachers to integrate things like drawing, music, filmmaking, photography into their lesson plans.

The new curriculum was introduced alongside Apple’s Everyone Can Code initiative, which is designed to keep student excited and engaged.

The Everyone Can Create curriculum was designed with the new 9.7-inch iPad and Apple Pencil in mind.

Apple also introduced a new app called Schoolwork which can help teachers create assignments, see their students progress and show off apps to use in their classroom.

The Schoolwork app works in conjunction with Apple’s Classroom app that helps teachers and administrators to “get the most out of integrating Apple technology in schools.”

“Creativity sparks a deeper level of engagement in students, and we’re excited to help teachers bring out that creativity in the classroom,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “When you combine the power of iPad, the creativity of Apple Pencil, over a million iPad apps in the App Store, the rich curriculum in Everyone Can Code and Everyone Can Create, and unique Classroom and Schoolwork apps that support students and help schools manage technology in the classroom, we believe we can amplify learning and creativity in a way that only Apple can.”

The Schoolwork app uses Apple’s new ClassKit framework.

Everyone Can Create has a whole host of free learning resources and teaching guides that can help teachers integrate drawing, music, filmmaking into their lessons. This will help students be able to express themselves and learn new skills.

Apple is also bringing their Classroom app to the Mac. The app allows teachers to launch apps, books, and webpages onto their students’ devices at once or send and receive documents. Teachers can also view their students’ screens during class, to help them keep focused. A beta version of the Classroom app for Mac will be available in June.

In addition, any teacher or student with a Managed Apple ID will get 200GB of free iCloud storage.

iWork Update

Apple also announced a new update for their iWork suite of apps. Pages, Number, and Keynote will be getting improved Apple Pencil support for better creativity.

Users will be able to draw, sketch or write on documents in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote using the Apple Pencil. Apple also announced a feature called Smart Annotation (beta) for Pages, which allow users to give, receive and incorporate feedback in their documents using the Apple Pencil.

“iWork is a powerful suite of apps designed for iPhone, iPad and Mac that is used in classrooms around the world,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Apps Product Marketing. “With Apple Pencil support on iPad, the new Pages, Numbers and Keynote apps now let students bring a whole new level of creativity to their documents, spreadsheets and presentations, while the innovative new Smart Annotation feature gives students the ability to give, receive and incorporate feedback easier than ever before. Students can also use the built-in, real-time collaboration tools available in iWork to explore and learn together.”

You’ll also now be able to create books within Pages for iOS and macOS. Users can create interactive digital books that can range from short stories to travel books. There’s a bunch of templates to choose from and works with iWork’s new drawing tools for Apple Pencil. There’s also real-time collaboration, so users can collaborate together on iPad, iPhone, Mac, and iCloud.com then share them in iBooks.

There’s also a new Presented Mode in Pages that allows users to make their iOS device into a teleprompter and text can auto-scroll to a user adjustable speed as well as text size, spacing, font and background colour.

Source: Apple, (2), (3)

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