August 22, 2013 – For students at the "Steve Jobs schools" in the Netherlands, back to school shopping won't involve stocking up on supplies like pens, notebooks, binders, and erasers. That's because all of their learning will be done on a school-supplied iPad!
The school bell has rung for seven of the planned 12 elementary schools that will open across the Netherlands. Two of the seven schools will be teaching through the iPad at all grade levels from the get go, while the other five schools will start using the iPad in lower grades and will eventually be given to older students.
But the schools don't just give every student an iPad and leave it at that. Every school also doesn't have "blackboards, chalk, 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."
"The school is no longer confined to fixed school holidays. Care and school merge together in the buildings [which] will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. every day," says the schools' website.
How will students learn? They will only choose to learn about what naturally interests them and they can do it whenever they feel like.
According to the schools' founder Maurice De Hond children who go to an iPad school will grow up and be better prepared for the future because of the digital skills they will learn. "They will also be more independent and creative," he added.
To make sure that students are actually learning and coming to classes enough the schools are being closely watched by the Netherlands' education ministry.
Would you like to go to an iPad school? What are some pros and cons you can think of about learning in a school with no blackboards, grades, schedules, or parent-teacher meetings?