This has been another big year for education and Apple. Schoolwork has greatly increased the potential of implementing blended learning and creating digital workflows in the classroom, updated iPads and Macs, AR kit, etc.
One of the other big enhancements was bringing Apple Classroom from iOS to MacOS. You can download the App for free from the App Store or distribute it through ASM's Apps and Books/VPP, but you will need to make sure that your Mac is enrolled as a teacher in the mobile device management solution (MDM) and associated with a class that has students in it. The MDM will send out the education configuration profile similarly to how it does on the iOS version.
The app has a very simple, easy to use interface that carries over the icons from the iOS app. It is extremely intuitive so you can quickly perform the tasks you are looking to do. To get started, once you launch Classroom app for Mac your list of courses will appear, select the one you will manage and you are brought to the class management screen.
Here you will see the name and photos (if provided) of your students. On the top menu bar you can easily launch an app, lock students in an app, navigate to a website or Apple Book chapter, lock the screens, and mute notifications.
You can also Airplay any student device to an Apple TV, manage Apple Shared device with user assignment and logout, create groups, and view student shared work. Finally, let’s not forget the very popular screens feature where you get an almost real time view of your students’ device screens.
Managing a technology filled classroom doesn’t have to be stressful or complicated. Apple Classroom has some key features that make it a must have for your classroom. The ability to lock students into a specific app brings a welcomed peace-of-mind to ensure assessment validity or assignment integrity.
Also, viewing the device screen provides a quick snapshot to monitor student progress in individual or group work. Finally, directing students to specific websites and Apple Book chapters help to shave off minutes of transition time during lessons.
The Classroom App for Mac can help create a refined workflow for your iPad classroom. Here’s a scenario for you: As students walk in and you start the class, the devices begin to come online and you can see what app or apps students are using. The bell rings and you focus the students on a note taking app (and lock them into the app), you Airplay your iPad with your keynote presentation and begin to provide the context for the lesson.
Next, you create groups in the Classroom app and send each group to different chapters of an iBook they will present to their peers. You view the student screens while they work in small groups to build their presentations and then as each group comes to present, you Airplay one of the student devices to the class projector. At the end of the class, Apple Classroom provides you a summary so you can see what apps students used and for how long so you can measure engagement with the content.
The Classroom App for Mac can be a powerful tool when integrated with a mobile device management (MDM) solution made for Education, being so important when it comes to education technology in large-scale Apple deployments. Being the IT Administrator and working with MDM tools like bulk import, can make it a time saving process when it comes to configuring the classes and courses, as well as installing applications to certain grade levels or Mac labs.
About the Author: Federico “Fredy” Padovan is VP of Education at Mosyle Corporation. Fredy is the former Dean of Innovation and Technology at Immaculata-La Salle High School and began their 1:1 iPad program iLearn@ILS which is recognized as an Apple Distinguished Program since 2012. He has worked with schools and districts around the world to help develop their technology and learning environment initiatives. Fredy is a member of the ADE Class of 2013 and recipient of the National Catholic Education Association Education Excellence Award and is a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership.
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