Following the release of iOS 9.3 on Monday, Apple pushed out its new Classroom app for teachers that promises to deliver a comprehensive toolset for deploying, managing and monitoring iPads in the classroom.
Announced in January as the next major step in Apple's education initiative, Classroom provides teachers with a powerful set of remote device management features that turns their iPad into a veritable teaching assistant.
Once configured, Classroom enables automatic connectivity with other iPads in a mass deployment ecosystem, or more specifically iPads assigned to the student body. In a scenario where iPads are shared, the app assigns students to the iPad they most recently used, while teachers can log individuals in to and out of borrowed hardware.
During class, educators are able to launch apps, websites or books remotely. There is also an option to lock all devices or device screens to refocus class attention. Teachers can even see what's on students' screens through a remote viewing feature called Screen View, either as a class or individually. Students are informed when their device is being monitored, Apple says.
Remote viewing works both ways, as teachers can use AirPlay to present a student's work on a television equipped with an Apple TV. Apple usually includes the set-top box as part of its educational package.
Finally, Classroom includes tools for resetting Managed Apple ID passwords and creating smart groups for projects.
Classroom is available as a free download from the iOS App Store.