Classroom is a new iPad app helping teachers guide learning, share work, and manage student devices. But how does it really work? Fraser Speirs had the chance to test it, and he wrote down his first impressions (via MacStories). Apparently, the Apple Classroom is off to a good start, and if Apple irons out the issues noted by Speirs, well, teachers will have a powerful tool in their hands.
In his post, Speirs notes that he had the chance to play around with Apple Classroom for about a day only, so he focuses mostly on the technical aspects rather than its effectiveness in teaching.
As he points out, Classroom is more like a basic Apple Remote Desktop (ARD), a Mac app allowing administrators to monitor and manipulate multiple Macs remotely over the network. Apple Classroom allows teachers to lock and unlock iPad screens, navigate the devices to a Web page or chapter in iBook, view the devices’ screen, open an app on the devices, and initiate an AirPlay session between the student’s iPad and the Apple TV in the classroom.
Speirs says the setup process is pretty easy, as it configures itself automatically when “your MDM server sends a Configuration Profile that contains an ‘Education Configuration’ payload.”
While he is satisfied with what Apple Classroom offers, he did highlight a handful of weaknesses the app incorporates: first, the low frame rate (1–2 fps) for screen monitoring, which is still good for static images; and secondly, it relies on Bluetooth connections, so students can “hide” their iPad by turning off Bluetooth. That completely defeats the system, so this is “clearly something that needs to be addressed in future configuration profile options,” he adds.
You can read Fraiser’s first impressions by clicking on this link.