Apple stays in school, donating 54,500 iPads to students and teachers

Ever since Steve Jobs brought the Apple II to the classroom, Apple has created and distributed tech to win over young users where they first learn about computers and coding, their schools. The company announced a continuation of that legacy today at a press event in San Francisco.

There, CEO Tim Cook announced that Apple is donating an iPad and a Mac to 4,500 teachers, and iPads to more than 50,000 students this school year. The company is also putting apple TVs in an undisclosed number of classrooms, he noted.

In June, Apple released an app called Swift Playgrounds to teach young learners how to code for the iOS platform. It also launched coding camps for kids in its retail stores.

Cook today revealed that more than 100 schools and school districts have actually included Swift Playgrounds as part of their curriculum this fall.

And Apple will continue rolling out coding curriculum via a new program called Everyone Can Code.

Cook then introduced Apple’s Vice President of Worldwide Apps Marketing, Susan Prescott, to demonstrate a new, real-time collaboration feature in iWork. The collaborative makeover of iWork could make apps included, like Pages and Keynote, more classroom-friendly.

Apple's VP of Worldwide Marketing, Susan Prescott.

Apple’s VP of Worldwide Marketing, Susan Prescott.


Groups of students or educators could design presentations together in real time with the new iWork, for example. Users can now use iWork apps via Macs, iPhones, iPads or the web, Prescott said.

Apple competes head on with Google Education, globally. It’s iPads versus Chromebooks, Safari versus the Chrome Browser and iWork versus Google Apps in schools from kindergarten through college.

What’s at stake goes beyond simply selling into schools– getting tech into young users’ hands can establish brand and platform preferences for a lifetime.