Apple’s iTunes U gets 1-to-1 discussions, importing from other apps, PDF annotations, grade book, more

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Apple’s iTunes U service, a resource for teachers to create and manage educational content for students on iPad, is today receiving a big update that brings a long list of highly requested features. Starting today, teachers and students using the platform will get access to new additions including 1-to-1 discussions, homework hand-in & grade book features, PDF annotations, and more. Read more

iOS 9 iPad keyboard adds keys & symbols at bigger screen resolutions, seemingly ready for iPad Pro [Update]

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Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 11.33.26 a.m.

Following on from the Apple Watch native apps hack, Steve Troughton Smith has also found that the keyboard view in iOS 9 has much better adaptability support on Apple’s latest operating system. As shown by the screenshots, at larger resolutions, the iPad keyboard rearranges itself to make use of the space. Tab and Caps Lock keys are notably added onto to the left side as well as an entirely new top row of symbols.

This new row reflects the symbols normally found on hardware keyboards above the number keys: @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ +. Next to the ‘p’ on the first row, the keyboard also gains curly braces and a pipe symbol.

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L.A. Unified School District may sue Apple for “millions of dollars” over failed iPad project

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The Los Angeles Unified School District is exploring the possibility of litigation against Apple over the failed project intended to provide every student with an iPad, reports the LA Times.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is seeking to recoup millions of dollars from technology giant Apple over a problem-plagued curriculum that was provided with iPads intended to be given to every student, teacher and administrator.

The project ran into early problems when students figured out how to bypass the restrictions designed to ensure the devices could be used only for school work, shortly before the district was accused of having miscalculated the cost of the program. The program was suspended last year, and later abandoned after deciding iPads were the wrong device. This was far from the end of the story, however …  Read more

LA Unified School District brings ‘iPads for All’ program to a close as FBI opens investigation

iPad Air

Earlier this year the Los Angeles Unified School District announced that it would be suspending its “iPad for All” program after it ran into an array of problems. Things started off optimistically in July 2013 when the district announced that it would give 640,000 students iPads for school.

A few crafty students figured out a way to bypass the built-in restrictions on the devices, then the district realized that it may have miscalculated the cost of the entire program. Eventually officials started to question if iPads really were the right tablets to hand out after all.

Now the LAUSD has decided to scrap the entire plan for good just as the Federal Bureau of Investigation has started taking a closer look at the deal.

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Apple profiles its effort in Obama’s ConnectED education program: 114 schools receiving Macs, iPads, & Apple TVs

Apple ConnectED

The White House shared earlier this year that Apple is a participant in President Obama’s ConnectED education program focused on bringing Internet access and technology to schools in need, and today Apple has provided a micro site profiling its effort in the program.

While it was already known that Apple has pledged $100 million to provide iPads, MacBooks, and other products toward the program for schools across the United States, Apple has shared that Apple ConnectED grants are being received by a total of 114 different schools across the country with these schools spread out across 29 states. Apple added that “92% of students from our partner schools are of Hispanic, Black, Native American, Alaskan Native, or Asian heritage.” Read more

Apple announces $10K Inclusion and Diversity Scholarships for minorities in tech

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Update: Apple has posted two more $10K scholarship opportunities with one from its Internet Software & Services Engineering group and another from Apple Software Engineering.

Continuing a number of recent initiatives related to promoting diversity at the company, Apple is now offering a new Product Integrity Inclusion and Diversity Scholarship offering “women, black/African American, Hispanic, or Native American university students” an opportunity to win a $10,000 scholarship to help pay for their education in tech. The scholarship is named for Apple’s Product Integrity group that includes Hardware Reliability, Product Safety, Environmental Technologies, and Hardware and Software Test Engineering. Read more

Apple on Campus program reportedly no longer available in Belgium or Switzerland

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Mac4Ever is reporting that Apple has confirmed that the Apple on Campus program, allowing students to buy significantly discounted Macs and accessories via their college, is no longer available in either Belgium or Switzerland. The confirmation was provided in a one-line response by Apple Switzerland.

Yes, Apple on Campus was stopped. However, the Apple Education Store discounts are obviously still valid …

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Apple’s Volume Purchase Program for apps coming soon to 16 new countries

Volume-Purchase-Program

Apple is about to roll out its Volume Purchase Program, which allows business and education customers to purchase and distribute iOS apps in bulk for deployed devices, into 16 new countries. Apple’s website for both the Volume Purchase Program for Business and for Education have been updated to announce the expansion and now list the following countries as coming soon to the program: Read more

Apple extends education pricing to iPad, offering discounts of $20-30

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If you’re eligible for education pricing, iGeneration noticed that the discounts available on Macs through the Apple Store for Education have now been extended to iPads. The discounts are modest, ranging from $20 to $30, but it all helps.

Education pricing is available to pretty much everyone working or studying in higher education: students, faculty, staff – even parents of students – as well as employees of K-12 schools.

Discounted iPad prices for the base spec 16GB wifi models are:

  • iPad mini: $279 ($20 off)
  • iPad mini with Retina display: $379 ($20 off)
  • iPad Retina display (4th Gen): $379 ($20 off)
  • iPad Air: $469 ($30 off)

The discounts appear to be rolling out internationally, already available in some countries but not yet all.

If your college belongs to the Apple on Campus program, the same modest discounts on iPads appear to be available, in contrast to the significantly better discounts offered on Macs.

As always, we recommend tuning into 9to5Toys to find the absolute best prices on iPads and all other Apple gear. For example, we recently featured a 16GB iPad Air for $400 ($100 off), 16GB Retina iPad mini with LTE for $355 ($174 off), and a 64GB iPad mini (1st gen) for $349 (orig. $599).

 

Apple SVP Jeff Williams sends letter to employees following supplier responsibility report

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Alongside the release of Apple’s supplier responsibility report today highlighting working conditions within its supply chain, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Operations Jeff Williams has also sent out a letter to employees. In the past, CEO Tim Cook has been known to send out an email to employees following the supplier report. In today’s letter, Williams went over some of the key points from the supplier responsibility report and noted, “to drive accountability, we are now publishing a quarterly list of the names, countries, and participation status of the smelters and refiners in our supply chain.” Williams also mentioned new education programs, the launch of the Apple Supplier Environment, Health, and Safety Academy, and more.

The full letter from Williams only accessible to employees is below: Read more

LA Board of Education approves $115-million deal to bring iPads to classrooms

In an ongoing effort to equip more classrooms with tablets and computers, the Los Angeles Board of Education has green lighted a plan to distribute and integrate iPads in nearly 40 campuses throughout the school district, the Los Angeles Times reports. The deal which was approved allots $115 million for deploying between 40,000 and 70,000 tablets to classrooms for use by students and teachers used especially for spring-scheduled standardized testing.

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