Several schools in the Netherlands are experimenting with a new kind of education, one that's centered around the iPad. The pilot project involves seven schools in which classic learning tools like blackboards, schedules and parent-teacher conferences are replaced with Apple's tablet. In addition, teachers are also "transformed" into coaches, guiding rather than teaching kids as they pursue their own and group projects.
The Education for a New Era Foundation is the organization behind this project that sees two schools providing the iPad-centric curriculum at all grade levels, while the other schools will begin with younger students and only later expand to higher grades.
As part of the project, schools are "equipped" with a virtual schoolyard called sCoolSpace, where students and coaches meet to chat using their selected avatars. To make for a seamless communication, students are relying on FaceTime and Messages, while parents can monitor their child's progress through the so called "iDesk Learning Tracker".
Unlike traditional schools, kids are free to show up anywhere between 7:30 AM and 6:30 PM, and are only required to be onsite between 10:30 AM and 3:00 PM. Parents can take vacations on their schedules, with children being able to keep up with their schoolwork from anywhere.
It's a bold experiment that could help prepare kids for the business in the 21st century… [Via: TUAW]