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How to start using the Schoolwork app in your school

How to start using the Schoolwork app in your school

Mosyle Team
written by Mosyle Team

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After introducing an impressive set of new features for Education on its annual Spring event this year, Apple made available the Schoolwork App by the end of June 2018, one of the most powerful tools to support personalized learning and enhance the learning experience using iPads in Education.

Apple is continuously working to help teachers, students and IT administrations with great educational tools in today's age where technology is king. Apple continues to showcase the importance of its Apple Teacher Program with the use of apps geared towards expanding productivity and creativity in the classroom.

We got a closer look at the Schoolwork App, and the list of benefits of this app are long as there are many interesting capabilities and tips to start applying the app to your teaching curriculum! Keep reading on in this article to learn more about what exactly the Schoolwork App is, how to set up the application so teachers are able to use the tools in the classroom, and also get the first impressions from our Chief Inspiration Officer, Fredy Padovan, about this amazing educational tool!

How does the Schoolwork App works?

The Schoolwork App has many benefits across the board, but how does the app work for benefiting teachers exactly? Educators will have full control of the lesson all from their own iOS device. Creating handouts and homework, as well as being able to keep track of students progress to ensure every student is able to learn regardless of their style of learning.

Third-Party Apps

Within the Schoolwork App, you can browse popular apps like Tynker, Duolingo, and GeoGebra to find content that fits your curriculum. Then you can select a specific app activity to share with students as a Handout. When students get the Handout with the activity you’ve chosen, they can go right to the activity with a single tap. It’s all made possible by a new developer framework called ClassKit. Many top educational apps are using ClassKit already, with even more are on the way.

Apple's Productivity Apps

When you use Pages, Numbers, or Keynote in Schoolwork, it takes just a few taps to collaborate with your students on their assignments and add written or verbal feedback directly to their documents — at any time, from anywhere. You can even use the Apple Pencil on iPad to mark up Pages documents as easily as you do on paper.

Student Progress

Teachers can use the Schoolwork App to monitor student progress in apps and activities, allowing for a tailored and more personalized learning experience. All of the data stored on students is kept private and will not be used for anything at anytime.

When your school enables the student progress feature, you’ll get a snapshot of each student’s overall class performance, be able to check on students' app activities, and see how far they’ve gotten on assignments. It allows you to tailor your teaching to each of your students.

Handouts

All done from one device, a teacher can run the classroom. Send PDF’s of homework, class assignments and even lead the lecture for the class. Within the handouts being sent, the teacher can put instructions on each of the handouts. They will also be able to send links through the handouts and put their own notes on them.

How to get started using the Schoolwork app in your school?

In order to make the Schoolwork app available for all teachers and students in the school or district, the IT coordinator should do some setup procedures within the Apple School Manager (ASM) portal. By following some easy steps as we described below, all the users can enjoy these amazing tools in the classroom.

First, access the Apple School Manager account. If your school doesn’t have an ASM account or still uses DEP, enroll in or upgrade to Apple School Manager.

For deploying Schoolwork in your educational institution, it’s important to have created Managed Apple IDs for teachers and students. You can do it using SIS or SFTP integration, or even create the accounts manually. The Schoolwork app will run only if the iPad is logged in using the Managed Apple ID, so it's critical to make sure that all the teachers and students have their credentials properly set up.

Heads up: make sure all the teachers that will use the Schoolwork app in the classroom have courses assigned in the Apple School Manager portal.

Since the iPad should be logged in using the Managed Apple ID, it will impact the method you should use to push and install the Schoolwork app on the devices, by using the Apps and Books area within the Apple School Manager portal. If you didn’t migrate your VPP licenses to ASM yet, there are some tips in this article.

In addition to the iOS application, Apple also announced later this month that teachers can access the Schoolwork by logging into iCloud.com using their the Managed Apple ID. With the web view, educators are able to hand out assignments and check students progress using their MacBooks.

There are some apps that are already integrated with the Schoolwork app, as we explained before. Those apps will offer specific activities as well as allow teachers to keep track of student process.

That’s why the final step of getting started with Schoolwork is to enable student progress for your organization in Apple School Manager. To enable student progress for your entire organization, click Settings > Managed Apple IDs > and click Enable under Student Progress.

If you would like to enable student progress just for some students, navigate to Accounts and select all the desired users. Then select Student Progress Status and click “Change”. Finally, select “Enable Student Progress”.

Schoolwork app: some insights from Mosyle's Chief Inspiration Officer

Our Chief Inspiration Officer, Fredy Padovan, explored the features that the Schoolwork app provides, as well as trying different workflows, and shared some insights about integrating the new Apple app in the classroom.

“Using the Schoolwork app as a teacher is very simple. The interface is user friendly and organized by due dates. Within seconds you can create your very first handout.” Padovan said about the app. Fredy went on to say teachers that teach the same content over several periods, can assign the same handout to multiple classes which is certainly a time saver.

A Handout can be a combination of adding activities such as apps, files, links, bookmarks, and/or photos or videos and requesting an item such as a worksheet, video project, an iWork file etc. Fredy continued with “The Handout brings the classroom workflow to another level by allowing the teacher to create the learning blueprint for the day or for a project and giving students a bit more ownership of their learning as they navigate the various tasks and then submitting work to the teacher.”

“The Schoolwork app does a fantastic job at keeping track of student progress. This allows the teacher to get an overview of the entire class or by individual student progress on each handout or activity within the handouts. This also serves as a great tool to measure student participation.” Fredy Padovan continued to say about the Schoolwork App.

Student feedback has never been easier. Leveraging the markup feature within iOS teachers can annotation on top of student work then return the comments and highlights. Student work appears almost instantly for the teacher to review and returned work appears within minutes for students.

“This workflow saves time for teachers and students by eliminating the need to turn in a physical paper, wait for the teacher to grade it, and return to the student. Immediate feedback means faster intervention times to support struggling students.” Padovan told us.

“Schoolwork does not contain a gradebook. The app’s main focus is on elevating the classroom experience by facilitating a digital workflow that supports teaching and learning. There is a lot of promise for the Schoolwork App and teachers that are looking to guide their iPad classrooms better while keeping their students on task and more organized should definitely consider exploring the role Schoolwork app can play in their classroom.” Fredy told us his overall opinion of the app.

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