Apple and Google have both launched new educational programmes to help their users, albeit in very different forms.
Apple’s attempt takes the form of ‘Today at Apple’, a series of classes taught in the 495 Apple Stores worldwide, in a variety of subjects including music, photography, coding, art and design, and more. Notably, all subjects that require Apple products, being taught in Apple stores.
According to Apple, the classes will come in different levels, so if you are a novice photographer trying to take better photos on your iPhone, there will be a series of How To classes, if you’re a little further on, Photo Walks are walking tours that leave the store to experiment with things like light and shade, and if you are a pro photographer looking to boost your skill-set, Photo Lab will cover topics like building your brand, and capturing candid photographs.
Apple’s senior VP of retail Angela Ahrendts hopes that these classes will work as a communal tool: “We’re creating a modern-day town square, where everyone is welcome in a space where the best of Apple comes together to connect with one another, discover a new passion, or take their skill to the next level.”
Today at Apple has now launched in said stores around the world with a dedicated site set up to letting you know what's happening near you, with classes being taught by ‘Creative Pros’, the arts equivalent of Apple’s ‘Geniuses’.
The global classroom
Google’s contribution is in the form of significant updates to its education app Classroom. Classroom is a free app that allows teachers to connect easily with their students, create and manage classes, set assignments, and give direct, immediate feedback to students.
Up until a month ago if you wanted to use Classroom you needed to be a member of G Suite, Google’s subscription service for business users. This was primarily so that schools signed up to G Suite could use the service as the way to interact with their students.
Then Google changed the rules, and and anyone with a personal Google account could sign up to Classroom, which meant anyone could be invited to join a class.
Now Google has gone one step further and allowed anyone to not only join a class, but make one of their own.
This means that anyone with a Google account can now teach a class in whatever subject they have expertise in, opening up the app for adult education, hobbies, and after-school programmes, report Digital Trends.
While this is a brilliant development in the sharing of information and skills worldwide, it is currently unclear how quality will be assured now that anyone can set up a class.
To see how Classroom works for yourself, check out this video:
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Andrew London is a writer at Velocity Partners. Prior to Velocity Partners, he was a staff writer at Future plc.