Image Source: | Source: O4NT
Today seven new ‘Steve Jobs Schools’ have opened in the Netherlands. These schools have a radical new approach, with iPads right at the center of it. The schools are located in the Dutch cities of Sneek, Breda, Almere, Emmen, Heenvliet and Amsterdam. They’ll be following the principles of a program called O4NT – Onderwijs voor een nieuwe tijd, or ‘Education for a New Era’ in English.
This program places the iPad right at the core of the student experience – with one iPad per student and the iPads replacing textbooks and serving as a ‘virtual school’. As MacRumors reports, One of the key purposes of using the iPad is to help students develop ‘information and communication technology (ICT) and information processing skills, collaboration techniques and a critical, problem-solving and creative mind’.
Some of the other notable points about the O4NT program include:
— With one iPad per student, the schools are said to have more flexibility to adapt to the needs of individual students rather than tailoring lessons to a group.
— The iPads come with a suite of apps including a virtual schoolyard and a student tracker app which lets both teachers and parents keep tabs on students’ progress.
… the “iDesk Learning Tracker,” which provides data on how long a student spent in a certain app, what level they reached and where they need help. The tool can also be used to compare a student’s progress against other individuals, or an average for children of the same age.
— The virtual schoolyard app lets students meetup in a digital realm – coaches / teachers and students have avatars and communicate via built-in support for Skype, FaceTime, and IM.
You can find lots more information on this program at the Education for New Era site.
I know we have many readers here who are teachers and educators, and many who have iPads and other tablets in use in their schools. And of course we have plenty of parents of school-age children who visit here. What do you all think of this new iPad focused program?