Recent Apple Announcements and their Impact on Educators.
On top of the list: the new MacBook Air. What does this new notebook computer mean for teachers? Well I think it will be a big hit for those wanting a small, light computer to take with them to do their daily productivity tasks. Teachers and administrators will easily be able to record grades, manage an online class, communicate with peers, write lesson plans, etc. with unmatched portability. I see the only caveat being it’s lack of umph for lots of video or other media.
iPod Touch (iPhone) Software Update
The iPod Touch is a product I think will reshape how we think about putting computers in to the hands of students. This is really a minicomputer with the ability to surf the Internet, play podcasts and audio books, and play back other media that would supplement the curriculum. With the software update, users now have the ablility to do mail, maps, notes, weather and stocks. There is also a software development kit available so we’ll start to see more third party apps come to the iPod Touch and the iPhone.
This is a new device that works in conjunction with Leopard’s Time Machine software. It’s a hardware backup appliance that will back up your computer wirelessly (or wired). It also serves as an access point, remote storage, and will do network printing all at the 802.11n standard which is must faster and will cover a broader area. What does this mean for teachers? All I have to ask is: Do you have a current backup? Would you like your backups to work transparently? Would you be lost if your computer/hard drive died? The Time Capsule comes in 500G and 1T options.
iTunes Movie Rentals – Apple TV
The ability to rent movies online and have them downloaded to our computer or Apple TV box is a change to how we currently obtain our media. Although I don’t see this immediately impacting educators, we are seeing a shift in how we obtain our media that is affecting us. More and more content is in digital form. We are using VHS, CD and even DVD less and less. More and more content is online, downloadable or streamed right to our machines. As the Apple TV matures, we will see more and more uses for obtaining our media with this device. We’ll start to see more internet media content managers such as iTunes. Just as iTunes has changed how we buy music, it will change the video industry to using this model for delivery.