The first Steve Jobs primary school opens, it’s iPads for all

The first Dutch primary schools based on the digital education principles devised by Apple founder Steve Jobs have opened their doors to pupils.

In total, 11 Steve Jobs primary schools are set to open nationwide this academic year.

Each child at a Steve Jobs school will be given an iPad at the age of four and allowed to decide what and when to learn. Teachers take the role of coaches rather than lesson-givers. IPads and educational apps will replace books.

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The Education for a New Era foundation (ON4T) has the support of several prominent educationalists as well as Vodafone and publisher ThiemeMeulenhoff, the Volkskrant said earlier this year.

‘The school is no longer confined to fixed school holidays. Care and school merge together and the buildings will be open from 07.30 to 18.30 every day,’ the organisation says on its website.

Founder Maurice De Hond says the school philosophy is based on the ‘toddler revolution’ in which all children are now growing up with tablet computers.


Children who go to an iPad school will grow up better equipped for the future because of their digital skills, De Hond told RTL. ‘Pupils can develop their own talents far more. They will not be limited by what the school offers. They will also be more independent and creative.’

The Netherlands has a tradition of embracing other sorts of education and already has Montessori, Jena Plan and Dalton schools, for example, De Hond said.

The schools are being closely monitored by the education ministry to ensure they comply with the national curriculum and school attendance requirements.

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