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Best Instructional Videos: Apple Products and History

Apple is generally considered to be one of the most successful and valuable companies in the world. The computers and devices it produces have been mainstays in K-12 education for decades starting with the Apple II.Apple Education and Apple have gone hand-in-hand for so long and in so many different ways that some are unclear of just how a company that began with two people in a suburban garage grew to be an industry leader.

The following series of videos takes viewers on a historical journey through the history of the company, its products and its people. In addition to a description of each video, we include a suggested grade level and note its capacity for student engagement (“cool factor”). Use these videos in technology, entrepreneurship, business, current events or history classes.

The Full History of Apple

Source: AnInformationCentre / YouTube

The AnInformationCentre YouTube Channel is dedicated to the collection and display of useful and wanted information, whatever it may be.

Grade level: Middle and high school

Run time: 9:08

Description: Regular users of Apple’s presentation app, Keynote, will recognize the source of the video. Produced within Keynote, the film offers a fairly detailed history of Apple via text and images. There is no narration, only an ambient soundtrack. The information presented is very good and as detailed a history as one could expect from a 9-minute video. The story starts with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak building computers in a garage and ends with the release of the MacBook with Retina Display

Cool factor: Moderate. The information is all good and peppered with little-known facts, but it is, after all, a Keynote presentation. While good use of Keynote’s animations and effects help to underscore certain events on the timeline, nobody is going to be blown away.

Steve Jobs: Billion Dollar Hippy

Source: BBC

The British Broadcasting Corporation maintains a global news presence and is one of the most respected news agencies in the world.

Grade level: Middle and high school

Run time: 59:13

Description: A complete biography, the documentary begins with Jobs’ modest beginnings growing up in northern California and chronicles his life as he revolutionizes the computer industry. Mirroring its subject, the film is full of highs and lows, choosing to present the entirety of Jobs’ life rather than just the highlights. It is a well-rounded account of the man and leaves the viewer with a better understanding of Jobs.

Cool factor: High. This is “Jobs laid bare.” Viewers get a glimpse of his counter-culture beginnings as well as his famed temper, which serves to paint a complete picture of a complex person. Note to teachers: There are a few instances of experts using colorful language to describe Jobs, including at least one instance of the word “bull$h!t” being uttered.

Steve Wozniak: How I Invented the Personal Computer

Source: National Kidney Foundation / Fora

This organization’s mission is preventing kidney and urinary tract diseases and improving the well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases., Inc. runs a website that gathers a large collection of unmediated video drawn from live events, lectures, and debates at universities, think tanks and conferences.

Grade level: Middle and high school

Run time: 34:59

Description: Speaking to a gathering of National Kidney Foundation supporters, the man who designed the first Apple computers gives a firsthand account of his life. Wozniak covers a myriad of topics from his past, everything from his first encounters with electronics to his experiences helping build the foundation of Apple. While Steve Jobs gets the lion’s share of credit for Apple’s success, Wozniak is often overlooked for his early contributions—this account helps provide some perspective.

Cool factor: High—because it is rare that the biography subject is also the narrator. The video is simply Wozniak standing behind a podium, but he is engaging and entertaining.

History of the iPhone

Source: CNet

CNet is an American tech media website that publishes reviews, news, articles, blogs, and podcasts on technology and consumer electronics globally. It is generally regarded as one of the preeminent tech sites on the Internet and is known for its impartiality with regards to its coverage and reviews.

Grade level: Middle and high school

Run time: 9:04

Description: Viewers get a comprehensive look at the complete history of the iPhone. Easily one of Apple’s most important products, the iPhone is responsible for ushering in the age of smartphones. This video details how the company managed to seamlessly combine the already-popular iPod with a mobile phone.

Cool factor: High. While a primary narrator guides viewers through this visual history, his screen time is interspersed with clips from various Apple keynote addresses and user-generated video clips from Apple iPhone events. The result is that some viewers will be reminded of their own experiences with their iPhones, while others will be able to recall where they were when they were first introduced to the device.

Related resource 

Steve Jobs: Blueprint for Entrepreneurial Success


Article by Jason Tomaszewski, EducationWorld Associate Editor
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