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HomeEducationAcademic InnovationSeven "Steve Jobs Schools" opened in the Netherlands this week
iPads the future of education

Seven “Steve Jobs Schools” opened in the Netherlands this week

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The initiative is run by O4NT, a Dutch foundation advocating a one-on-one student to iPad education model to cultivate individual strengths and prepare children for a future supported by technology.

The O4NT foundation is currently in talks with a number of school boards across the Netherlands and they hope that more schools will sign up the model next year. The program has a number of benefits: apart from teaching children useful skills, school hours and vacations are a lot more flexible under the new model — as the "virtual school" is accessible round the clock, 365 days a year (although the Dutch Ministry of Education is currently preventing this scenario due to legislative restrictions) — and the ICT-based approach also has a major impact on the role of the teacher.

Various apps have been developed to help facilitate this new style of learning, including Tiktik sCoolTool — which manages a student´s schedule and assignments — and sCoolProjects — which allows students to work on group research projects. Parents and teachers will also be able to follow students through the iDesk Learning Tracker.

One major shift under O4NT´s system is the role of teachers. According to the press release from O4NT, "teachers will no longer simply convey knowledge to a group of children; they will be transformed into coaches that support children with their individual and group projects."

Additionally, because the student´s educational resources will be available 24/7, parents will be able to determine their child´s school hours and vacations.

O4NT is also planning an international version of the program, allowing Dutch expatriate children around the world to attend full-time education via their iPad. O4NT International, as it has been dubbed, is expected to launch in early 2014.


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