Apple, IBM Partner for Student Analytics App


Apple and IBM are collaborating to bring to four school districts a new pilot program that features IBM teacher software on Apple devices.

The Coppell Independent School District is one of the candidate districts that will pilot the app dubbed "Student Achievement App". By the beginning of 2016, IBM is hopeful the student analytics software prototype will be ready.

While there's still a scarcity of information regarding the pilot program, Apple Insiders says the experimental app will provide teachers with real-time student performance metrics. The app will be:

"[A] dynamic teaching tool that harnesses data analytics — likely provided on the backend by IBM — to supply educators with actionable intelligence on a per-student basis."

During the presentation of the app, Alex Kaplan, the global lead of IBM's business services activities, said the goal of the app is to bring excitement into the classroom by giving teachers a powerful tool for evaluating student performance and supporting students through academic success. BidnessEtc says:

"[I]t is certain that it will revolutionize the faculty's decision making, and might even completely change conventional ways of evaluating a student."

With the student performance metrics app for students, IBM and Apple are:

"[B]ringing together phenomenal teachers, principals and administrators with great user experience people and great data scientists that will allow us to get to heart and transform what's going on in the classroom," Alex Kaplan added.

Teachers will be able to use the app across grades and subjects. The app will enable instructors to take real-time decisions on how to evaluate and grade students based on the metrics the app will provide.

Apple and IBM want to offer teachers an app that they will be excited and eager to use:

"The idea here is we want to stimulate adoption. . . . We want teachers to want to log on every morning. We want to change their work in such a way that they're excited to log on and see what's changed, what's different … we want that sort of rush of excitement."

Fortune says that this new initiative shows that Apple has learned its lessons. The L.A. United School district iPad disaster proved that "nothing really works for kids in a classroom unless you hook the teacher first." The $1.3 billion iPad education initiative was ended by the LA District after student hacks, questionable funding plans and descriptions as "half-baked, riddled with errors and lacking lessons" among its criticism.

The pilot program constitutes an extension of the IBM Mobile First for iOS partnership, and school districts in South Carolina, Maryland and Texas are primary project implementation partners.

ZDnet reports that should the pilot program expand to more school districts, Apple and IBM's partnership will prove to be an important victory in serving the K-12 market.

06 28, 2015
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