(CHICAGO) — Tech giant Apple introduced on Tuesday a new powerful — and affordable — iPad that’s geared for teachers and students.
Priced at $299, the iPad is compatible with the company’s iWork productivity apps and pencil stylus.
CEO Tim Cook unveiled the device at Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago, Illinois, with 300 teachers from all over the world in attendance.
“We are proud to be here in Chicago,” Cook said at the start of the conference, announcing partnerships with Chicago Public Schools and City Colleges to teach 370,000 students coding and the skills to create “the next generation of killer apps.”
The device weighs only a pound and is equipped with an A10 Fusion chip, which Apple claims is faster than “virtually every Chromebook.”
Students also get 200 gigabytes of storage space instead of the iPad’s typical 5 gigabytes.
The iPad’s educational features include an app that gives students the ability to virtually dissect a frog using the Apple pencil, create digital books on Pages and read textbooks. Teachers can use a new “smart annotation” feature on Pages to mark up a student’s homework on the iPad.
Some teachers think that the innovation could be a game changer.
“For my classrooms, it just means we’ll have access to more creative tools than we’ve had before,” Jennifer Smith, a Chicago-based middle school teacher, told ABC affiliate WLS in Chicago. “We have more access to innovative products and ideas.”
This iPad model could compete with products made by Google and Microsoft that are also being used in schools.
“There are definitely certain features the Apple ecosystem provides that Chromebook definitely can’t so not just more affordable, it keeps to vision of creativity and all wonderful things that can be accomplished with Apple products,” Rita Mortenson, a Wisconsin-based high school technology coach, told WLS.
The new iPad is available for order and will start shipping to customers next week.
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