Since the early days when Steve Jobs headed Apple, the global technology corporation has supported educational initiatives. Today, company officials host various educational technology events around the world. In addition, Apple offers educational discounts for some of their products.
In 2010, Apple made a big push in the education sector with the introduction of its then-new iPad device, spurring new interest in the manufacture’s products among academics. Despite Apple’s higher cost compared to competitors, the technology firm has enjoyed considerable success in the education market.
Enabling Advanced STEM Training in the Classroom
Studies show that only 35-percent of women pursue and acquire bachelor’s degrees in STEM-oriented disciplines. Apple’s education initiatives make STEM learning accessible to this woefully underserved group.
The company’s education wing touts that the iPad merges the disciplines of STEM, enabling students to see the relevance of the field through the perspective of real-life challenges. They further state that its iPad technology is ideal for teaching STEM because it empowers students to work in a variety of areas, such as:
- Content creation
- Data collection
- Design thinking
- Mathematical analysis
In effect, Apple’s devices allow students to collaborate, conceptualize and present their ideas in the pursuit of STEM learning.
Apple products empower students by giving them access to a wide variety of learning objects that support STEM concepts. The tech firm has developed several engaging STEM learning applications for educators and students.
The company also provides a resource called iBooks that educators and students can use to publish STEM content. Furthermore, Apple promotes coding education through its Everyone Can Code program.
Apple automatically ships their iPad devices with resources for working with numerical and text-based data. Also, iPads have the ability to serve as a number of tools, including a camera, e-book, graphing calculator, sketchpad or telescope.
As an example, learners can use Apple’s Keynote app to create presentations that include drawings, images and charts, and the Numbers program allows students to gather scientific data as well as organize information in a spreadsheet.
Looking Toward the Future
Apple faces pretty heavy competition in the education technology (edtech) field. However, the company has plans to regain its leading role in edtech in 2019.
In mid-2018, the company launched a media tour to roll out its new plans for academia. Currently, Apple holds a strong position in the college and university education market. It’s speculated that the company introduced the tour to bolster its position in the K-12 education vertical.
This was the first major move in education made by Apple since 2016. As a result, education technology experts are excited to see what Apple has planned for the future.
Amidst this excitement, analysts note that Apple has a lot of work to do to regain their top position in education technology. They further remark that only time will tell whether Apple succeeds.
A Technologically Driven Career Landscape Lies Ahead
Nearly every industry is undergoing a technological transformation. A poll of finance executives, for instance, reveals that 82-percent of executives see disruptive change approaching in their industry.
Around the world, a growing number of technology firms are merging. For example, more than 1,500 fintech enterprises have entered the market since 2008.
Despite this, there’s a growing lack of skilled talent in STEM-oriented fields. Case in point, a recent survey of executives revealed that nearly all participants believed that their peers discussed blockchain in artificial intelligence, but had little real understanding about the technologies.
There is abundant opportunity for qualified STEM professionals. For instance, job openings among major employment websites for professionals who work with cryptocurrency, bitcoin and blockchain increased over 600-percent since 2015, and analysts report more than 1,000-percent growth in search engine queries for the same terms. Furthermore, more job sites are cropping up specifically to fill STEM related positions.
Apple Gives Parents Who Need Tech for Their Kids a Break
The Apple Education Pricing program offers a discount to help parents, educators – including homeschooling teachers – and students to pay for education technology. The program saves education buyers 10-percent of the final cost of goods. For instance, qualified buyers can purchase the latest iPad for $309, rather than the full $329 retail price. As an aside, Apple sells its iPad device directly to schools for $299 per unit.
The consumer education discount is available through the Apple Education Pricing online storefront. Buyers are limited to how much equipment they can buy per year. Other than that, the experience is the same as purchasing goods through Apple’s regular retail site. In some cases, Apple may require additional verification to prove that buyers are purchasing a device for educational purposes, but overall the process is pretty straightforward.
Remarkably, students can also use iPads to connect third-party STEM hardware, such as 3D printers, microscopes, probes, robotics kits and sensors. Overall, Apple’s dedication to education and STEM learning is creating a powerful and positive impact for generations of bright young learners.