During Apple’s event on Wednesday where it is introducing all sorts of new Apple devices, Tim Cook mentioned an interesting milestone for Apple: its progress with its programs to bring Apple into more schools.
Apple is a sponsor of ConnectED, a national organisation sponsored by President Obama that combines governments and tech companies to bring more state-of-the-art tech to underserved schools.
Cook says that Apple’s donations have found their way to 114 schools, have put the iPad in the hands of 4,500 teachers and 50,000 students and have put an Apple TV in every classroom in these schools.
Perhaps even more importantly, he says that 100 schools will teach their kids Apple’s popular new programming language, Swift, by adopting Apple’s Swift Playgrounds teaching tool into their curriculum. Playgrounds is a tool for kids that teaches them how to code. Swift is Apple’s language that is the foundation of building iPhone apps.
However, it’s not just an Apple thing. Apple has released Swift as a free and open source language, meaning all kinds of people are contributing to it. And there is even an effort to bring it to computer servers to become a broader programming language.
The final thing Apple launched for education was an improvement to the iWork set of apps. They will now support real time collaboration so multiple people can work on the same document at the same time. This has been a cornerstone of Google Apps forever, and Microsoft Office also supports it.
But given that Apple made iWork available for free last year, this set of apps is becoming an attractive alternative to schools.
While all this seems like a nice and feel-good thing for Apple to do, there’s an important business reason why Apple needs to be in schools. These are the next generation of Apple fans. The more they use Apple products while they are kids, the more likely they are to use them and buy them for their companies when they are adults.
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