Back in March, educators in the Netherlands were proposing “Steve Jobs schools” that would augment the traditional classroom environment by moving to an iPad-based education system. Today Speigel.de provides us with a little bit more information noting that eleven schools are scheduled to open next month with over 1,000 children aged 4 to 12.
It’s not clear if the “Steve Jobs school” moniker will stick as the official name of the facilities, but the report explains a little bit more about exactly how the program will work:
There will be no blackboards, chalk or classrooms, homeroom teachers, formal classes, lesson plans, seating charts, pens, teachers teaching from the front of the room, schedules, parent-teacher meetings, grades, recess bells, fixed school days and school vacations. If a child would rather play on his or her iPad instead of learning, it’ll be okay. And the children will choose what they wish to learn based on what they happen to be curious about.
The Steve Jobs school will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 on every workday. The children will come and go as they please, as long as they are present during the core period between 10:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m… As such, the school day never really ends. Pupils are welcome to keep working on their iPads at home, on weekends or on vacation. But as much as the program offers freedom and continuity, it also comes with a substantial monitoring component. The iPad keeps teachers and parents constantly informed about what children are doing, what they have learned and how they are progressing. If a math app is neither enjoyable nor successful, the teacher simply orders another one. The supply of educational programs never runs dry in Apple’s online app store.
Although many talked about Jobs’ desire to transform the education space as his next major project with the launch of iBooks Author, there was a point long before then when Jobs expressed his view that technology cannot fix the education system.