updated 04:40 pm EDT, Fri March 23, 2012
Netherlands trials iPad as sole school method
The Netherlands is trying a major experiment where the iPad wouldn't just play a role in education but would be the centerpiece. The Education for a New Era effort would see three to five schools change from the traditional approach and use the iPad as a primary learning tool. While the exact method would wait until a formal proposal, it would encourage Dutch children to learn "21st century skills."
Both new and existing educational apps would be part of the overall strategy. Among those making the proposal would include "pollster" Maurice de Hond, Amsterdam city alderman Lodewijk Asscher, and education councilwoman Mariette van Leeuwen,
Tests among the first schools would start in August 2013. It might expand if there was more "enthusiasm" for the results.
Dutch plans would possibly put the late Steve Jobs' hopes of revolutionizing education to the test. He's known to have wanted an all-digital classroom where students could interact during lessons, not just watch, and get immediate feedback on any work. The iBooks 2 and iTunes U apps are some of the first steps towards this, but they haven't been tested in a wide-scale program.
In the US, a number of obstacles exist to having a truly one-for-one iPad adoption program. Having to pass state curriculum requirements is considered one of the largest and hasn't yet been met. At $399 minimum, iPads are also considered impractical for many American schools already struggling for funding, even after iPad leasing programs. [via NU.nl and MacRumors]