Sunday, September 8, 2013

My iOS7 Wishlist for Education

My biggest hopes for this week's Apple event have nothing to do with a rainbow of colors, a "flatter" design, or what new voices Siri might have.  For me, it's mostly about sharing.  As an educator, here's my wishlist for iOS7, in no particular order:

1.  Photo Sharing - Photo sharing on the internet has become the wild west.  The Google+/Picasa changeover still remains messy.  You can't do much with Apple's current Photostream sharing except share a link to the album.  Facebook and Instagram are not very viable choices for schools.  iOS7 is supposed to rethink Photostream.  I would like multiple photostreams that are embeddable in websites and true shared photostreams in which multiple people can contribute to a single photostream.  Also, the possibility for the photos to remain in the "stream" rather than be deleted automatically.  As a teacher, I want to keep those photos from our field trip several months ago!

2.  Special Education - Apple is leading the way in adaptive and assistive technology for special education students.  Features like Speak Selection and Guided Access are incredibly helpful.  I work in a school with a large special education population.  No specific wish here - just a "keep up the good work" and continue innovating in this area.

3.  Teacher management of devices - For teachers like me who manage their own handful of devices, we're never going to have a cart.  It can be difficult to manage devices (going into settings every time, allowing downloads, updating, turning off access to iTunes store, etc.)  Anything Apple can do to help out the "little guy" with management is great.

4.  Screensharing between devices - Along the line of teacher management, some kind of integrated teacher-to-student screensharing option would be nice for devices in a virtual "room" together.  Sort of like a Chrome Remote Desktop for the iPad.  Sounds like AirDrop will allow greater sharing between devices.

4.  Apple TV - I know ... this is not an iOS issue, but recent updates to Apple TV software are bringing more features.  Certainly, the new Chromecast is trying to challenge Apple TV.  For me, Apple TV is about integrating your life - making everything seamless from laptop, iPad, or iPhone to TV or projector.

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