"Les tablettes tactiles et l’iPad peuvent-ils devenir un agent de changement à l’école primaire? Cet outil technologique peut-il participer à la réussite scolaire des élèves? Est-ce que cette tablette leur permettra d’apprendre plus?
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In August, at least 1,000 students in 10 other primary schools in the Netherlands will get iPads, in a teaching model developed by a foundation called O4NT, which is a Dutch acronym for “Education for a New Era.” (While De Windhoek uses iPads, it is not part of O4NT.)
(...) O4NT wants to change the way schools work, not only through technology, but also by rethinking the very basics of how brick and mortar buildings are used, and how class hours and academic years are scheduled and structured. The model’s creators believe that a more flexible system is needed, particularly to alleviate pressure on working parents.
Education has been quick to jump on the tablet bandwagon by deploying iPads and a handful of Windows 8 and Android tablets. But in one surprising new twist the iPad finds itself under threat in the classroom from a different form factor altogether.
Running Google’s Chrome OS, the Chromebook allows users access to web applications only and has been generally well-received, even if some reviewers have been quick to note its limitations.
“A Chromebook cannot do everything that a Windows PC or a Mac (of even a Linux PC) can do. It can’t even do everything that a tablet can do. For one thing, the selection of games is very limited though there is, of course, Angry Birds,” wrote seasoned tech journalist Steve Wildstrom recently for Tech-pinions.
“But it is very good at what it does well, and for a large number of people, it would be a more than adequate replacement for a conventional PC”.
Plenty of schools use iPads. But what if the entire education experience were offered via tablet computer? That is what several new schools in the Netherlands plan to do. There will be no blackboards or schedules.
As such, the school day never really ends. Pupils are welcome to keep working on their iPads at home, on weekends or on vacation. But as much as the program offers freedom and continuity, it also comes with a substantial monitoring component. The iPad keeps teachers and parents constantly informed about what children are doing, what they have learned and how they are progressing. 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 app store.
Not Truly Relevant
Arithmetic, reading skills and text comprehension are the core subjects in the elementary school. Good handwriting has been downgraded to a secondary skill, nice for industrious pupils but not truly relevant.
Every six weeks, teachers, children and parents decide together what is to be achieved in the next learning period. To do so, they meet at school or virtually via Skype. The era of the 10-minute parent-teacher meeting once a year is a thing of the past in the Steve Jobs schools.
No big difference from the Montessori philosophy that is quite common place in Dutch school system.
Curious about the number of students per teacher ratio and the lack of frontier between school and home (re. "the school day never really ends")
With more than a million iPads in schools, teachers and students are enthusiastic about the technology, but tablet use in classroom brings about new problems.
Problem #1 Not enough dollars to purchase content
Problem #2 Input ( entering responses in to a tablet can be awkward.)
Problem #3 Monitoring use (some educators are worried about how to handle a classroom full of independent learners.)
Other problems expressed buy educators
With more than half of those surveyed selecting “no budget” as their biggest complaint about using tablets in the classroom, educators noted other issues as well, though in much smaller percentages:17% of respondents answered: Don’t know how to evaluate or guide kids in their tablet use16% answered: Don’t understand how applications integrate into my lesson plans8% answered: Don’t know how to get applications/e-books7% answered: Applications/e-books aren’t educational enough7%: The technology is confusing22% filled in the “other” form with comments, mostly about monitoring tablet use.
A smart list with problem #1 being a recurring problem in many countries (e.g. France)... schools often get a budget to buy the hardware but don't get any money left for content!!