One-to-one classrooms are becoming the standard in K-12 Education. And managing student devices can be a challenge, especially for teachers of young learners. As an instructional technology coordinator, I’m always looking for classroom tech solutions that quickly impact teacher productivity and student learning. That’s why I was so excited to learn about and implement Apple Classroom.
What Is Apple Classroom?
Apple Classroom is a native app that can help teachers manage student devices in a more efficient and effective manner. Apple describes Classroom as:
…an app for teachers, available for supported iPad devices and Mac computers, to hold classes in a schoolroom, remotely, or through a combination of nearby and remote locations (called hybrid classes).Source
In this guide, I will discuss how to set up and use Apple Classroom in your classroom and dig into its features to help you maximize the use of Apple devices in your classroom.
How to Set Up Apple Classroom
Step 1: Download the app.
Apple Classroom can easily be found in the App Store on the iPad and Mac only. If you don’t have access to the App Store on your device, check with your district technology department to request or utilize your local application management process.
Step 2: Set up your Apple Classroom.
Once the app is loaded, it’s time to open the app, name your class, choose an icon, and add a description if you’d like. If needed, this information can be edited in the future. It’s important to give your classroom a unique name So that students know whose class they’ll be joining.
Step 3 – Invite students to join!
Now that you’ve created your class, it’s time to add your students. The process to add students is simple! After setting up your classroom, click Invite Students to get your classroom code. Share the code with your students, so they can join your classroom.
Here is a short video tutorial on how to get things set up:
How to Use Apple Classroom
Once students have been invited to your classroom the magic happens! Here’s a rundown of all the simple, yet powerful features available to you in your classroom
Get Started with Classroom Actions
Once students have joined your classroom the magic happens! Apple Classroom has many simple, but powerful actions available to manage student devices effectively. The best part is that these actions can be applied to the entire classroom or an individual student.
Here’s a rundown of what actions are available in your new classroom:
Open: Quickly send students to apps, webpages, PDFs, and EPUB books for activity completion. For added convenience, you can lock students into these applications to ensure they stay on task.
Navigate: Send students to your favorite webpages, PDFs, and EPUB books.
View Screens: This action allows you to quickly view students’ devices to make sure they are completing tasks as assigned.
Hide: Quickly bring the class back to the home screen to give your next set of instructions.
Lock: You can lock student devices to regain their attention. Did you forget to unlock student devices? No worries! The device will unlock automatically once it is out of Bluetooth range, 20 seconds after it loses connectivity, or when the Classroom session is ended. (This feature is only available to students in a nearby classroom.)
Mute: Regain classroom control by muting devices in a noisy classroom. (This feature is only available to students in a nearby classroom.
Apple Classroom Selections
In addition to these actions, you also have selections in the teacher dashboard on the left side of the screen. Here you can you can set up groups for reading, math, and RTI, and send students to different apps based on their needs. One of the newer features of Apple Classroom is a definite game changer called Agendas. Agendas can be used to organize and structure lessons, as well as automate tasks. Now you can have your morning routine mapped out, and ready to easily move from activity to activity with minimal transition time.
How to Create an Agenda
To create an agenda, teachers simply need to open the Apple Classroom app and select the “Agenda” tab. From there, they can create new agendas or edit existing ones. Classroom Agendas can be used to automate a variety of tasks, such as opening apps, navigating to websites, presenting documents, playing videos, starting activities, and more. Once an agenda has been created, teachers can share it with their colleagues by sharing it through the Classroom app or through the Pages App. Here’s a quick video on creating agendas.
Transform Classroom Management with Classroom
Apple Classroom is an app that has the power to transform your classroom management. It’s a simple tool to learn and use and has the potential to instantly impact classroom learning. As an instructional technology coordinator, it has been one of my go-to tools to support teachers in managing their technology-enriched classrooms. It’s a free tool that supercharges your Apple teacher device, and it’s the app you didn’t know you needed. If you haven’t been using it, what are you waiting for? Let Apple Classroom revamp your classroom!
Monica Napier is one of TCEA’s presenters for the 2023 Elementary Technology Conference! Don’t miss her session, “Automate Your Daily Routine with Agendas in Apple Classroom” on Monday, June 12 in Galveston, Texas at the best summer conference for summer-loving educators. Check out all the fantastic sessions available, and register now!