The Netherlands will soon get no less than 11 schools that will replace blackboards, schedules and more with iPads. The idea is use Apple’s tablet for each student’s entire educational career and presumingly help them [students] grow into modern, tech-savvy individuals.
Scheduled to open this August, these so-called “Steve Jobs Schools” will have largely student-directed curriculum. Around 1,000 children, aged 4 to 12, will attend with only one device to rely on – the iPad.
But that’s not all. The school will also be open at irregular hours, working from 7:30AM to 6:30PM each workday with students only being required to attend between 10:30AM and 3:00PM. Plus, parents will be able to take vacations as it suits their own schedules.
According to Gertjan Kleinpaste, the principal of a participating school in Rotterdam, this program will both be envied by some and reviled by others. We find it a bold educational experiment, and are interested to see whether it can fly. Hopefully, it can.