First Seven iPad-Only 'Steve Jobs Schools' Open in the Netherland

The first seven exclusive "Steve Jobs schools" have opened their doors across a number of cities in the Netherlands. Starting from today, schools in the Dutch cities of Sneek, Breda, Almere, Emmen, Heenvliet and Amsterdam will start teaching students according to the principles of the O4NT, or Onderwijs voor een nieuwe tijd (Education for a new era), which emphasizes the role of the iPad in an elementary school environment. The program, which was first proposed by Dutch officials back in March 2012, gives every child access to a "virtual school" through an iPad and helps them develop information and communication technology (ICT) and information processing skills, collaboration techniques and a critical, problem-solving and creative mind...

Read the full story here... Source: Mac Rumours

Dutch Officials Set to Open 11 iPad-Only 'Steve Jobs Schools' for Children

Last year, we reported on a Dutch proposal to launch so-called "Steve Jobs schools" for children, offering a peek at of Jobs' vision of how the iPad could help remake the educational experience. 

Spiegel now follows up (via AppleInsider) with a new report discussing the country's plans to open 11 such schools this August.

 Some 1,000 children aged four to 12 will attend the schools, without notebooks, books or backpacks. Each of them, however, will have his or her own iPad. 

There will be no blackboards, chalk or 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. If a child would rather play on his or her iPad instead of learning, it'll be okay. And the children will choose what they wish to learn based on what they happen to be curious about.

The article highlights the flexible nature of the schools with a look at an upcoming school being prepared in the city of Breda. The school building itself will be open from 7:30 AM to 6:30 PM every day of the year except Christmas and New Year's Day, with children free to come and go as they please as long as they are present during the core school day that runs from 10:30 AM to 3:00 PM...

Read the full story here. Source: Mac Rumours


Google starts a TV white space trial in South Africa to wirelessly link schools

Google has been a strong advocate of white space wireless as democratizing broadband access: its long-range nature can bring people online when the local internet framework isn't always reliable, if it exists at all. The company is about to illustrate that potential through a new trial in South Africa. A trio of base stations at Stellenbosch University in Cape Town will supply ten nearby primary and secondary schools with internet access to prove that white space access can work without affecting TV signals. To make sure it won't, Google is picking the safest frequencies from a database and is measuring the results for the sake of both nervous broadcasters and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa. If all goes well, it (and similar efforts from Microsoft) should make a case for full approval of white space use across the country and deliver internet access to remote areas that risk being left by the technological wayside.

[Source: Engadget]

Google Chromebooks now in 2,000 schools, usage doubled in three months

Google has really ramped up its education efforts lately, and it looks like it's paid off: according to the Mountain View company, its Chromebooks are now in use in 2,000 schools, which is twice as many as there were three months ago. Three of the more recent participants include Transylvania County Schools in North Carolina with 900 devices, St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Florida with 2,200 and the Rocketship Education charter network in the Bay Area with 1,100. The education team has been making efforts in the global community as well, with cloud-promoting appearances at various education conferences such as the Florida Education Technology Conference in Orlando and the British Education Training and Technology show in the UK. We're not sure exactly which flavor ofChromebook the students are getting their hands on, but we're sure no matter what they use, they'll grow up well-versed in what could be the future of computing.

[Source: Engadget]

Why the iPad mini? One word: Textbooks

I was at the dentist the other day, where I was talking to Laura-the-receptionist about tablets. "I'm sick of paying for rebinding [my kids' textbooks] every year," she told me. "My kid's teacher suggested we buy a tablet and purchase textbooks from Amazon instead of fixing them. Which tablet should I buy?"

Although schools pay a nominal fee per rebinding, parents often have to cough up a significant amount more. Cherry Creek High School charges $28 to rebind a single book. The eBook text costs just $14.99. It's a bargain until you start considering the tablet overhead.

[Source: TUAW - Click here to read the full story]