WWDC 2024 highlights and takeaways for education

Apple announced exciting new features across their device ecosystem. Learn how the latest operating systems and Apple Intelligence impact learning.

June 14 2024 by

Mat Pullen

Young student using an iPad for learning

At WWDC 2024, Apple unveiled a host of enhancements to its operating systems covering Mac, iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch and Apple Vision Pro with a clear focus on improving efficiency and productivity with Apple products and tools. As education continues to embrace the power of technology, these enhancements provide new opportunities to both educators and students in both K-12 and higher education environments, meeting both the purpose behind the intended use of technology and the ability to further personalize the learning experience of students.

Apple Intelligence

Arguably the highlight of the announcements, Apple Intelligence bakes artificial intelligence (AI) directly into the core of Apple products, bringing a deeper experience with the tools that can simplify and enhance workflows for all. In an education setting, this can prove beneficial to the productivity of the educator and provide new opportunities for learning both with and about AI for students, supporting that understanding for the need for balanced privacy and the thoughtful intention behind the use of these tools. AI isn't the thing in education, its the enabler that supports other things to make them more equitable and seamless.


Apple brings writing tools to the system across iPad, iPhone and Mac that empower users to adapt their initial writing with rewrite, proofread and summarize tools. These new tools provide users with the ability to take what they have written and develop it further with prompts to support the development of the writer. Rewrite gives new suggestions for how the writing could look, proofread checks for spelling, grammar and punctuation, and summarize provides a condensed version of the writing.

For students

Support for language models brings new opportunities to develop an awareness of a student’s writing — students will still write in the way they do now, but with these tools they can start to analyze how their writing could be improved. They can use the tools to:

  • Explore the types of writing they are creating
  • Tailor it for specific purposes
  • Understanding the differences in the composition

These are all key skills for students to learn as they develop these new approaches.

For educators

These tools provide new ways to support students with their writing. AI supports those who need to see progress in their writing without having barriers stop them before they even get started. This technology provides new opportunities to for students to analyze writing styles based on the audience, taking the understanding of literacy beyond the classroom to explore real-world application.


With image creation, Apple provides new ways to integrate the written word with images that support a deeper understanding of concepts and ideas. Utilizing dual-based coding theory, the combination of imagery and text provides learners with better connections between abstract and concrete concepts, but we can't all be great artists. In the same way that AI supports the improvement of writing, image creation supports the ability to turn text into pictures and enhance the value of visual storytelling — providing new access points to a student’s learning.

For students

Consider the ability to turn writing into an image to help visualize a concept or take a sketch and make it less abstract. For those who don’t feel their drawings are clear enough to make visual sense, this is a great way to build on sketchnotes to improve understanding. Being able to simply circle your sketch with the Apple Pencil and create an image that better represents your thinking opens up this skill to many more learners. And with the ability to create your own imagery, the issue over using copyrighted images from a web search is removed and replaced with a more thoughtful process of image creation, bringing out skills around choice of prompts to get the desired outcome.

For educators

The use of imagery supports students to develop their understanding of concepts, and educators can utilize the ease of the tools to bring imagery directly to the language being used. By creating visual prompts for learners that sit alongside the content in presentations or documents, educators can make their content more accessible to students who can't visualize something from text alone.

Apple Intelligence brings a personal tutor to every student with a device, narrowing the gap between those who can afford that additional support from an extra person, and provides it in a personalized experience. With updates to Siri, students can better navigate their devices and search their created content for answers to support them. They can use AI as an assistant to develop their knowledge further and explore their own potential.

Enhancements to built-in tools

With every new operating system (OS) comes new tools for applications and at the system level. With iPadOS 18, iOS 18 and macOS Sequoia, we saw some amazing new features that will directly impact the classroom experience.

Control Center customization

Control Center is a great time-saving solution, allowing users to quickly get to the things they need to use without needing to dive into the full Settings app. With updates to the OS, this is now even more customizable, providing students and educators with the ability to set up these quick actions for exactly what they need, whether that be access to accessibility shortcuts or the screen recording functionality that students and educators love to use to share their thinking. Developers can now create these Control Center shortcuts to their applications, meaning even more customization for users. These can be resized and arranged to meet the specific needs of the user, great if that's an often-used shortcut to get you straight to where you need to be for learning.


SharePlay brings enhancements to screen sharing, with a new ability to draw directly in the screen, a great way to help students follow instruction from the teacher. By interacting directly on the students’ devices, input can be given from anywhere, meaning teacher support is more targeted and focused on learners’ needs. With remote control opportunities, teachers could potentially help steer students to exactly what they need to do, maintaining that focus on learning and saving valuable instructional time.


Calculator finally comes to iPad, but rather than just being a bigger screen, it brings additional tools that bring new ways to interact with the math that students are working on. With Math Notes, students gain the ability to write out math problems, making them easier to solve while providing a visual understanding of the process. This way, students can see how numbers relate to each other in an equation and build their problem-solving skills. By sketching the setup of an experiment, students can visualize the impact of a variable on their data. This support helps those learners that struggle to see the numeracy by creating a whole new way to represent the information — all in their own handwriting.


Notes brings similar enhancements. Along the calculator features built into the Notes app to replicate the above benefits, Notes also enhances the way it analyzes handwriting to help keep your handwritten notes more inline and neat. This again supports those students that use their iPad for note taking but may struggle with being able to read what they have written down. It also allows for spellcheck to be in your own handwriting, keeping your work personalized

iPad has long been a tool to support accessibility of learners and provide more equitable experiences, and with these enhancements it continues to set the standard for technology-enhanced learning in schools.


macOS also gets some great new features, with Math Notes coming to Mac through a typed experience, enhancing understanding of concepts in the same way as on iPad. Video conferencing also gets an update with the ability to ensure you are sharing the correct screens with your students. Remote learning may not be as common place as it was during the pandemic, but the hybrid approach to learning is still in use for those that need that experience. Making sure this process is seamless keeps the focus on the learning intention of the devices.

Key considerations for education

As with any new software, education institutions will want to understand both the benefits and potential issues that surround introducing anything that impacts on learning. They should examine how this technology aids the purposeful deployment of devices across the institution, with a focus on the intentions, instructional and privacy-focused use of the tools in the classroom. Some questions to consider are:

  • How do tools like Math Notes and the handwriting enhancements impact on the purpose behind the deployment to have that broad impact on learning and teaching?
  • How do these enhancements, specifically Apple intelligence, lend themselves to a more personalized approach to learning for students?
  • How might the new AI features be supported where they can have a positive impact or be switched off if they provide too much assistance when the focus should be on the student’s own ability?
  • How do you control the level of support you provide to individuals on a student-by-student basis?
  • When might you release these features for educators to use? Should you use a phased approach of testing leading to training and support so all are supported?
  • How is professional learning used to empower educators to use these tools effectively and provide them the controls to switch them on/off when needed?
  • How might these new enhancements impact curriculum delivery?
  • How do these enhancements impact institution policies on how and when they are used in learning?

As always, Jamf will continue to provide the tools to support IT admins and classroom practitioners. We focus on purposeful deployment of technology that helps IT put devices into classrooms by ensuring end users are empowered to use them to their fullest potential without violating their privacy. Educators and parents gain control of Apple devices to set them up to both personalize and support learning wherever learning takes place.

Want more highlights from WWDC?

Learn more in our recap of the keynote.