CHICAGO (CBS) — Apple has announced a new more affordable iPad model aimed at students, at a special event at Lane Tech High School, a rare product reveal held away from its California headquarters.
Hundreds of people packed into the Lane Tech auditorium for the big announcement, a new iPad that will work with its Apple Pencil to write notes or draw on the screen. It also features a 9.7 inch Retina display, Touch ID, and up to 200 GB of cloud storage.
The base model will be just $299 for schools, and $329 for consumers, but without the pencil or a keyboard. CNET reports the Apple Pencil will continue to cost $99 for consumers, but $10 less for schools.
Apple also announced a new Classroom app, which allows teachers to monitor what students are doing on their iPads, and a new Schoolwork app that lets teachers monitor students’ progress on assignments.
“Macs and iPads are used throughout schools by students for everything from music to language arts and even advanced robotics,” Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said at the event.
The tech company believes this will take the learning experience to the next level.
Apple chose Lane tech for the announcement because for the past several years, students at lane tech have used iPads and MacBooks as part of their learning experience.
“Apple has over 6,000 school districts across the United States to pick from. There’s a reason they picked the city of Chicago. We’re leading the country in math gains, we’re leading the country in reading gains, we’re leading the country in graduation growth, and we’re leading the country in college attendance. They’re actually investing in our investment,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said before the event.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said Chicago Public Schools share the same belief about technology and education with his company. He also noted more PhDs come out of Lane Tech than any other school in the country.
Last December, Apple announced it is working with CPS to expand a coding program to up to 500,000 students across the city.
The new iPad is Apple’s answer to Google’s Chromebook, which has become the go-to gadget for teachers in classrooms. Apple devices used to fill up schools across the country, but has since slipped as Google’s Chromebooks rose in popularity.
One of Google’s major advantages over Apple for educators was that their Chromebooks were more affordable than iPads. While schools typically buy Chromebooks for about $250 to $300, iPads for schools can cost nearly $800 apiece, because of the education curriculum included with Apple’s tablet. Apple offers a discount for schools with its newest iPad, at a $29 price drop, but it’s still more expensive than most Chromebooks.