In time for the start of school this fall, Apple released Schoolwork, an iPad app for teachers to manage assignments, collaborate with students, and monitor student progress.

With the iPad app, you can create and send what the app calls Handouts that can contain text, web links, PDFs, and documents. Each Handout can include a title, instructions, and an activity assignment or a request for work.

You can send a Handout to individual students or to the entire class. Tap Post when you are ready to distribute your Handout.

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Students see Handouts on their iPads sorted by due date and tap the Handout file to open and start work on it.

Schoolwork also lets you collaborate with students in a shared Pages, Numbers, or Keynote file, letting you view, edit, and comment on a student's work.

With the Schoolwork app, you can browse the educational apps on your iPad and assign activities to students for supported apps.

And if your school supports the student progress feature in the Apple School Manager, you can view class performance and check on student progress across activities.

To help keep everything tidy, any teacher or student with a Managed Apple ID gets 200GB of free iCloud storage.

Companion to Apple's Classroom iPad and Mac app

The new Schoolwork app joins Apple's Classroom app for iPad and MacOS to help teachers administer their classes. With the Classroom app, you can first set up classes and then invite students to a class. The app lets you organize a classroom into groups, so you could break out students by project assignment, for example. Classroom lets you launch an app on student iPads and lock in a single app on each iPad. You can also guide students to resources in iBooks, iTunes U, and Safari if you have a document or page you want your class to view. You can also share files with students as well as have them share documents and web links with you.

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If you want to check in on a student's specific activities, you can view a student's screen -- students are notified you are monitoring their screen -- and mute a student's iPad. You can also share a student's work via Apple TV, if your classroom has one. And at the end of class, you can release control of student devices.

A battle for the classroom

Google is also making a big push into the schools, tailoring its Chromebooks, G Suite for Education, and Google Classroom to meeting teacher and student needs. Google's classroom tools also let educators create and manage assignments, assign grades, and communicate with students and parents.


1. Apple's new Schoolwork iPad app helps teachers create engaging handouts for students.

2. Schoolwork complements Apple's other educator tools, such as Classroom for managing classes.

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Clifford Colby follows the Mac and Android markets for He's been an editor at Peachpit Press and a handful of now-dead computer magazines, including MacWeek, MacUser, and Corporate Computing.