(Series) Technological innovations and other interesting features... from Apple Education

It's back to school and you have a thousand and one things on your mind. To help you out, we've taken a look at what's new from the major manufacturers of the digital tools and platforms you may be using at school. Today, here are some interesting new features and reminders, especially for iPad users

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ATTENTION! The English translation is automated - Errors (sometimes hilarious!) can creep in! ;)

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In collaboration with the École branchée pedagogical services team (Alexandra Coutlée, Laurie Couture and Jason Belzile)

It's back to school and you have a thousand and one things on your mind. To help you out, we've taken a look at what's new from the major manufacturers of digital tools and platforms that you may be using at school. In this series, we will present you with changes and improvements that should catch your attention. 

Today, here are some interesting new features and reminders, especially for iPad users, presented by Gabrielle Juneau and Annie Martin, Leadership and Learning Consultants at Apple Education in Quebec, as part of the Apple Institute - Summer 2022.

By the way, don't forget to start by updating your devices and applications. Indeed, access to new features usually depends on the version of iOS, the generation of the device and the version of the applications.


The Translate application on the iPad is particularly useful in allophone environments, for both written and oral communication. Among other things, it facilitates exchanges with parents or supports students in French classes in their learning. The Conversation option allows you to discuss in face-to-face mode (two people using the same iPad). The application automatically detects the spoken or written language.

Good to know: it is possible to erase the conversation history.

It is available directly in the iPad and it is not necessary to be connected to the Internet to use it. This is interesting for outdoor use or if the network is not stable! However, you have to download the languages to be able to access the translation without a network.

Languages available in Translate

Good to know: The Translate app is available in other tools inside the iPad. Just select the text to translate it.


The Dictaphone application is handy for recording voice notes, either for yourself or as feedback to send. Don't forget that you can name your voice notes and organize them into folders.

Good to know! When sharing voice recordings, it is possible to create a QR code for easy access.


Here's an interesting Numbers tip related to the Dictaphone, which turns Numbers into a student feedback tool.

  • Add a column in a form. 
  • Set the Numbers and Dictaphone applications to dual screen (split screen). 
  • Record an audio commentary. 
  • Once the record is complete, simply drag it into the created column.


A text recognition function has been added. The application can recognize text in the picture and even while taking a picture. It is also able to recognize illustrated text, for example from children's books. It is then possible to select the text, to copy it, to have it read by Siri. However, this function requires the 8th generation iPad or higher and iOS 15. 

Tip for organizing your photo trails

  1. Create a scrapbook for each student to structure themselves.
  2. Hold your finger on a photo in the album so that it becomes the main photo (cover photo)
  3. Create the album in the Shared Albums section so that it can be shared with parents or others. If the recipient does not have an iCloud account, you can share as a site via the sharing options in the album.


The Maps application can be used in several contexts, mainly to look at the geographical location of places discussed in class or to see places with the Satellite function. In addition, the 3D Mode, which allows you to visit cities as if you were there, is continuously improved. The city of Montreal was recently added.

Trick of geek If you look at the Big Ben clock in London in Maps, you will notice that the time displayed is the real time and that it is moving forward!  

Tips for creating guides from Plan

  • Create a guide to group all the places related to a lesson. 
  • Name the guide, give it a cover image.
  • Add or remove images at will.
  • Share the guides with students.

Tip for learning measurements from Plan

  • Take a screenshot of a map. 
  • Go to Photos to edit the image. 
  • With the Annotate option (pencil with circle around it), the ruler tool is available. It does not have units of measurement, but it is graduated. It is therefore possible to learn the basics of measurement (1st and 2nd cycle of elementary school). 
  • It is also possible to draw straight lines with the ruler.


The application for creating presentations contains several new features.

  • Live video
    • Live video can be added to a slide from any of the iPad cameras used to make the presentation. While the presentation is playing, the live video will activate when the slide it is on appears. By default, Keynote uses the front camera of the device to broadcast the live video, but it is possible to use the rear cameras as a source. However, this feature is more for showing something, as the audio is not shared.
    • Look at a complete presentation made by the RÉCIT National Service, Arts area, presenting the options for this feature.
  • Dynamic backgrounds
    • It is now possible to create dynamic (moving) backgrounds in your presentations. It is better to export the presentation as a video to keep the effect.
  • Sounds in the background
    • In the Accessibility option, Audio/Visual section, it is possible to activate the Background Sound function. This will allow the user to activate ambient sounds (rain ?, wind ?, nature ?, etc.) that can help them focus while working. This will allow teachers to add quiet time in class: when there is sound (work time) and when there is not (presentation time).


The video creation application now allows you to create "magic movies", i.e. to quickly create a video from a photo album. The photos are automatically placed randomly in the video and music is added. This feature could be very useful for producing a video of a school trip or for sharing class portfolios with parents.

The storyboard function allows you to structure your films more easily by proposing sample shots to the creators. 

Swift Playgrounds

The Swift Playgrounds app allows students to develop programming skills in the Swift language. This language is the one used to create all existing applications on the iPhone, iPad and Mac. 

Users can first follow "mini-lessons". The latest version of the application offers the possibility to create an application from scratch.

Discover the other articles in this series:

Have you noticed other new features in these tools or other applications that you use regularly with your students? Let us know by writing to

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About the Author

Martine Rioux
Martine Rioux
After studying public communication, Martine worked as a journalist for various publications, before pursuing her career as an interactive communications consultant at La Capitale, a financial group, then at Québec Numérique, an organization she took over as general manager before making the jump. as political advisor in the office of the Minister for Digital Government Transformation. Today she is the online Editor-in-Chief and Special Projects Manager at l'École branchée. Her dream: that everyone has access to technology and can use it as a tool for learning and opening up to the world.

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