This August, 11 so-called "Steve Jobs schools" will open in the Netherlands, serving 1,000 students primarily through educational apps on Apple's iPad, replacing everything from books to blackboards.
The unique concept will ditch strict schedules, formal classes, seating charts, and other longtime staples of the education experience, according to Spiegel. Instead, children ages 4 through 12 located in the town of Breda will use an iPad to access learning programs of their choosing, and complete them at their own pace.
Teachers will remain, but rather than sharing knowledge, their job will be that of a "learning coach." Because the entire curriculum is digital, students will be able to complete their classwork whenever and wherever they choose, in or outside of the classroom.
A so-called 'Steve Jobs school' will use Apple's iPad to focus on three core skills: arithmetic, reading, and text comprehension.
"The iPad keeps teachers and parents constantly informed about what children are doing, what they have learned, and how they are progressing," Marco Evers reported. "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 store."
Core skills for students will be arithmetic, reading and text comprehension. Each student's curriculum will be decided collectively by the student, their teachers, and their parents every six weeks.
Non-iPad portions of the experience will be typical playtime activities, including building, drawing, and getting physical exercise. The concept was created by public opinion researcher Maurice de Hond.
Apple's iPad has become the tablet of choice as educators look to go digital in the classroom, though most current programs are not as radical as the one that will kick off this August in the Netherlands.
In California, L.A. Unified School District announced last month that it inked a $30 million contract with Apple to provide iPads preloaded with educational software to every student it serves. The deal was a major win for Apple, as the Los Angeles district is the second-largest in the U.S.
Another program in Idaho called "iSchool Campus" has also earned rave reviews from educators and students alike. In addition to providing a more engaging way to teach students, Apple's tablet has also helped reduce costs at Paul Elementary in Minidoka County, Idaho, by eliminating 20,000 paper copies a month.