Last month, Apple announced its plans to offer an expanded set of educational sessions at its stores, which will now feature more in-depth training on how to use its devices and products, along with more community involvement ranging from having artists host talks on how they’re using Apple products to having customers venture outside for things like photo and sketch walks. This afternoon, this program is going live on a new, dedicated website called “Today at Apple,” where customers can now view the available courses and sign up for classes.
The launch kicking off this week includes 4,000 sessions per day across Apple’s stores.
While Apple has offered in-store classes for years, the idea with the expanded course line-up is to attract more members of the creative community and younger users to its stores, with a variety of classes focusing on subjects like art, design, music and photography. This also allows Apple to differentiate itself from competitors – that is, it’s not just a device and software maker, but also a real-world destination where people can pursue their interests and feel involved in their local creative community.
The stores will also now feature more programs for children, with new “Kids Hour” sessions. Parents can bring their kids to learn about things like how to create music in GarageBand, make movies with iMovie, or learn coding basics by playing with Sphero robots, for example.
Stores in select larger markets will also now have sessions taught by local artists, musicians and photographers. In some cases, these will include live performances where the artists not just explain how they use Apple technologies, but also entertain the session attendees with an exclusive performance.
According to the new “Today at Apple” website, the early lineup includes performances in the U.S. by Lil Buck, Charlie Puth, and Leon Bridges in San Francisco; Christopher Martin and Estelle in Brooklyn and SoHo NYC, respectively; a music lab by Steve Lacy in Brooklyn; as well as art and photography related sessions featuring Tyler Hansen and The Selby (SF), Timothy Mulcare and Buff Monster (Brooklyn), and Cody Guilfoyle and Jeremyville (SoHo).
Elsewhere in the world, similar sessions will be offered in cities like London, Paris, Berlin, Dubai, and Tokyo. As the program continues, Apple will bring in more artists and musicians, some of whom will be up-and-coming in their respected fields, while others will be more established names.
In addition, starting on May 20th, all 495 Apple Stores worldwide will offer both Photo Walks and Kids Hour sessions. Some of the Photo Walks in smaller markets may still bring in a local photographer, while others will be led by Apple staff. Customers will have to check their own store’s individual schedule to see what’s available in their market.
Though the focus of the expanded line-up is to help people do more with their Apple devices, the company is continuing to offer its “basics” classes that let new users learn the fundamentals and features of Apple devices and software, and it will offer “Accessibility Basics” classes that teach customers with vision or hearing loss, or reduced mobility, how Apple’s products can help.
Other sessions will focus on “how to” do a specific thing – like edit video, optimize photos, or use iWork. And some “how to” classes will be aimed at business customers to address their separate set of needs.
The remaining lineup includes Studio Hours (where you can get help with a particular project), sketch walks, Teacher Tuesdays, a Pro Series (advanced classes), live art, photo and music labs, Field Trip (teacher-led student outings), Apple Camp (for kids), and Perspectives, where two influencers share stories about their creative processes.