Press Release Embargo: August 21, 14:00 (2 p.m. CET) First seven Steve JobsSchools opened in the Netherlands Today, Augustus 21, 2013, seven schools open in Sneek, Breda, Almere (2x), Emmen, Heenvliet and Amsterdam, the Netherlands, that operate according to the principles of the O4NT foundation ( Education for a New Era). The role of the iPad is crucial to the school’s approach: every child has access to a virtual school through its iPad. By the end of the current school year, at least twelve schools will be providing education according to the O4NT model. The O4NT foundation is reviewing the method with school boards across the Netherlands, and they expect many more schools to adopt the O4NT principles next year. The “Master Steve JobsSchool” in Sneek and the “Steve JobsSchool Breda” are implementing all facets of O4NT education simultaneously. The other will initially start using the approach in the first grades and gradually extend its use to the higher grades. The 58 core objectives set by the Dutch Ministry of Education can be reached much more effectively because of the one-on-one student-iPad ratio. This creates space for the additional O4NT goals: promoting the child’s individual talents and developing 21st-century skills. These skills include ICT and information processing, collaboration, and developing a critical, problem-solving and creative mind. This ICT-based approach will have a major impact on the role of the teacher. In the O4NT approach, teachers will no longer simply convey knowledge to a group of children; they will be transformed into coaches that support children with their individual and group projects. Because educational apps are used for basic skills, the learning process can be completely adapted to the individual child’s learning speed and style. When they are in the physical school building, the children will move around the various ‘subject rooms’ according to their individual schedule, e.g. the language room, math room, creative lab, gym or technology lab. They can also attend planned activities that they have registered for. Parents can follow via a special app exactly what their child has been doing during the day and the children also maintain their own portfolio, documenting their progress and achievements. School hours and vacations will be very flexible once the O4NT method is completely implemented. Because the ‘virtual school’ is available on iPad 24/7/365, parents are free to book their vacation at a convenient time and to determine what their child’s school hours will be. School and out-of-school care are seamlessly integrated. Legislative restrictions are currently preventing this ideal scenario from being realized, but O4NT is in the process of solving this in consultation with the Dutch Ministry of Education. In order to implement this innovative form of education, O4NT and its partner developers have introduced various new tools. “sCoolSpace” is a virtual schoolyard, where students can meet safely in an augmented-reality environment. The “Tiktik sCoolTool” system manages schedules, attendance, parent contact and portfolios, all at the same time. Students use “sCoolProjects” to work on research projects and other assignments in small groups, supported by a coach. Through “iDesk Learning Tracker”, teachers and parents (and publishers) can follow the results their children achieved using educational apps. “DigiTalenten” will annually report on what the students’ digital life looks like and what ICT skills children have mastered. “Symbaloo” is used for sharing and distributing knowledge, within the school as well as between schools and O4NT. For more information about those innovative new tools see Appendix A. Not just students in the Netherlands, but Dutch speaking children around the world will soon be able to benefit from the O4NT curriculum. Expat children can either attend a full-time Dutch-language education via their iPad or start a program that complements their education abroad. O4NT International is expected to start in early 2014. You can see videos of this school and tools: http://www.educationforanewera.com In Appendix B you see the vision of O4NT how the tablet will revolutionize the primary school. ____ For more information: [email protected] , [email protected] , [email protected] Set of 27 pictures of first day (16 MB each), free to use: http://bit.ly/16G4RvP Set of 27 pictures of first day (1 MB each), free to use: http://bit.ly/1eZaKmQ Appendix A: The tools of the virtual part of a Steve JobsSchool The following tools have been developed by or in collaboration with O4NT and play an important part in the participating schools. Other schools where students have access to iPads can also benefit from these tools. • sCoolSpace is a virtual schoolyard where children can meet each other and their coaches digitally. 3D technology and Augmented Reality offer a life-like experience. Not only can children meet each other here; they can also display their creative work. Each school has its own, secured virtual schoolyard. All students design their own avatar, made up from a photograph of their face and a number of special elements. A small circle below the avatar indicates whether or not they are physically present in the school building at that particular time. In sCoolSpace, students can communicate through instant messaging or by contacting each other on Facetime or Skype. Children can be invited to the virtual schoolyard through the Message Center. There is a 'Wall of Fame' that can be used as an exhibition space for digital creations. • The TikTik sCoolTool automatically keeps track of the students’ calendar so that teachers and parents can see what their children are doing at school. Children use Tiktik sCoolTool to maintain their digital portfolio. This portfolio is not only available to teachers but also to parents, allowing them to take a much more active role in the development of their child. The app can be described as an intelligent, interactive school calendar. It automatically logs the students’ presence when they arrive at school with their tablet and will auto-display their schedule. The app also records in which room the student is working. Teachers and students can use the app to plan activities that other children can participate in. Children can also create their own activities, e.g. a presentation, and invite others to attend. Students can share their achievements with each other and with the teacher through their personal portfolio. The portfolio also contains the results of group projects. This means that photographs, videos, presentations and screen shots, as well as additional reports, are always available in the digital archives. The secure web-based parent portal gives parents the opportunity to monitor their child’s attendance and current schedule. They can view their own child’s portfolio and even set up activities that students can later register for. • Through iDesk Learning Tracker, both school and parents can follow the students’ educational activities and results on specific educational apps. It is of crucial importance to the school and its teachers that they are provided with insights into the child’s development: - How much time did the student spend on this app? - What level did the student reach? - What problems did the student encounter? iDesk Learning Tracker gathers all relevant information on the students’ activities from the apps they have been working with. It displays the results individually as well as compared to those of other or similar students. This enables the coach to monitor the students’ development and provide them with extra guidance where necessary. Parents can also use iDesk Learning Tracker to follow their children’s educational activities or e.g. compare their results to the average for children of the same age. • sCoolProjects is used for research projects by one or more students. There is a wide variety of apps that can be used for research purposes. The results can be recorded as video, audio, text, presentations, mindmaps, animations or eBooks. Research questions, participating students and deadlines are recorded for each project. Teachers and students can contribute relevant links by adding them to the project. Every project has its own special chat box. Project members have access to draft versions. The completed product can be accessed by teachers; grading is optional. The finished project is added to the school project database. This database includes all projects and can be accessed by every student for reference or inspiration. • Through Digitalenten (‘Digitalents’), the individual student’s experiences and skills in the digital realm are assessed. Students complete a survey on www.digitalenten.nl. This provides insight into the following aspects: o Experience with and ownership of digital hardware, such as laptop, tablet, smartphone, gaming consoles o Visits to and membership of websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. o Skills like processing texts, working with spread sheets, searching, creating videos, performing technical repairs Because children will complete this survey annually, the development of each student can be tracked as well as the development of the shared knowledge base across the school. It also serves to identify the students that have specialist knowledge and experience in certain areas and who can become involved in communicating this knowledge to fellow students. • The O4NT schools use Symbaloo as an important tool for exchanging knowledge between O4NT, the schools, teachers and students. Symbaloo is a smart way of sharing links. Sharing experience is an important aspect of the O4NT vision; the 'community' of parents, coaches and other caretakers who support children in their development is also plainly visible on a higher level: in the way participating schools support each other. (The meetings and training sessions by the O4NT training and expertise center ‘Sources’ play an equally important part in this process.) Every school has its own Symbaloo, with collective O4NT components, the school’s own components and the possibility to add individual elements per project or student. The most important O4NT links are shared on o4nt.symbaloo.com. • O4NT-queetz is an instrument that can be used for sharing experiences with educational apps and websites, as well as lesson ideas. (www.o4nt-queetz.com). This application allows coaches from different schools to benefit from the app experiences of all others. All of these tools are important to O4NT schools (Steve JobsSchools). But they are also excellent for use in schools with different educational principles that use their tablets differently. Over the next few years, the tablet will gain a prominent place in most schools worldwide. The Turkish government, for example, has already committed to provide tablets to more than ten million students. Over the next two years, the Los Angeles School District will purchase over 600.000 iPads. The above tools can play a part in this, either as an inspiration or for actual use. We invite school executives from across the world who take an interest in our approach or our tools to exchange information and experiences with us. You can reach us by email ([email protected]) or use the contactform of www.educationforanewera.com . To see videos of these tools: www.educationforanewera.com The Education for a New Era Foundation (O4NT) Maurice de Hond Irene Felix Hans Theeboom Erik Verhulp Tijl Rood Appendix B: How the tablet will revolutionize primary school By: Maurice de Hond (O4NT.nl) Whenever a new technological phase arises it is initially used as an imitation of the old. The first cars resembled a horseless carriage. The first news on television in the fifties showed a man reading the news from a piece of paper. The first company websites were only displaying a leaflet or brochure. It is only after a certain period of time the new technology is used in a distinctive way in relation to the old. With the introduction of tablets in schools, as it has happened in the past two years in various places, we see something similar in many cases. Rather than through a book the tablet is used to spread the material digitally. When something more is done then it mainly concerns existing curriculum that is given or practiced in another way. The real change will occur if use is made of the unique and distinctive features of a tablet. This can be achieved by teaching a good mix of skills and knowledge, which one thinks children should be required to have (including the socio-emotional maturation) and the development of the individual skills of the child. It is fascinating to see the similarity between the distinction of the tablet in education compared to previous digital innovations and the basis of the huge impact that the Internet finally got on the economy and society. In my book “Due to the speed of light” (1995) I already pointed that out. Until that moment the public were practically passive users of the media: they watched television, listened to the radio and read the newspapers. Because of the Internet everyone’s opinion could be made known to a small audience in many ways. Whether it was done on a website, a blog, a video, a message on Facebook or through a tweet, everyone was kind of a transmitter with its own audience. No longer limited by physical boundaries. Citizens were no longer just recipients but broadcasters as well. There is a clear parallel if we look at the situation at school and the change that the tablet will bring. My focus is mainly aimed at primary school, but in fact also applies (to a greater or lesser extent) to other forms of education. In an average classroom or group situation, it is the teacher who teaches the knowledge and skills to the children. The vast majority of the time kids are busy listening to the teacher, carrying out assignments given by the teacher and training skills under the guidance of the teacher. When students hand in assignments or say something in the group or class it is mainly to show or demonstrate whether they have mastered the given material. Only a very limited amount of time students are busy with their ‘own tasks’ and are given the opportunity to tell or show other students about it. In approximately the same way as before 1995, when people were just recipients of the media, students in schools are also the recipients of which is taught by the school/teachers. The roles in school remains teacher and students. The teacher knows a lot about the subject matter and the student little to nothing. During the learning process the teacher carries the material on to the student. Tablets in education will radically break through these roles which schools are based on from the beginning. And that will go along two roads that will be mutually reinforcing. Tablets used at school (and at home) allows students to learn about subjects matters the teacher knows little to nothing about. If a student would like to learn Italian or wishes to study the history of Norway or the particle accelerator, it’s much easier, compared to the past, for the student using the tablet, which he basically can use 24/7. There are apps you can use and/or Internet and/or numerous other communication options which the tablet features. The student can either do it by himself or in a (digial) collaboration with others who are learning on that same subject or know a lot off. He can probably find a student in Norway who can help him dive into the history of Norway. In relation to this part of the teaching process, the role of the teacher will mainly be that he/she gives space and provides a form of guidance, which does not come from the knowledge of the subject, but the knowledge of good teaching. Naturally in this category it includes all knowledge relating to the digital domain, such as programming, presenting, blogging, building websites, etc. But of even greater importance and the real basis of this revolution is the fact that a tablet is a great device to capture on all kinds of issues and ways to edit. Which can be vision (taking and editing photos or video recording and editing or creating drawings), and/or sound. You can enter text and combine it with one or more components. This can lead to a video/movie, a cartoon, a presentation, a mind map, an impression, a comic book, a demonstration, an ebook, a special app, etc. This site (http://www.symbaloo.com/mix/creatievetools) offers 20 different apps for the iPad that you could be doing at school (and that’s only a very limited selection). With this tool, the students are not only able to display what they have learned in projects or themes that are offered from school, but they can also report on their own (research) projects, own experiences. Individually or in collaboration with others (whether or not in the same school). As after the introduction of the Internet recipients became transmitters, next to recipients, students too become transmitters. Everything they have done and learned, they can share through the wide range of tools with others at school (and beyond). It cuts both ways. Research has shown that if students had to pour what they have learned in a form to share with others the subject matters is more internalized. On the one hand, thus the learning efficiency of these activities for the performing student(s) increases. On the other hand, other students who are recipients of what other students have created, will undergo this in a generally appealing way. Therefore there is a much greater variety of knowledge and skills from many sides, and not almost entirely from the teacher. In addition, they can be inspired themselves back to their own project whether or not in conjunction with the transmitter(s). This creates a form of specialization where one student is better with a particular tool than the other. Students can collaborate to work out a certain output. This will especially be reflected in major join projects in the context of specific projects (such as the recent Coronation, or the opening of the National Museum, or any other major project selected by the school). Also, students who want to learn certain tools can be linked to students who are already good at it. This way we learn the key skills of the 21st century at school: working in teams to a common result. This creates a real learning community, where students are alternating the role of receiver and transmitter. This also applies to the teacher. Besides being a transmitter, he/she will particularly be the one who organizes, processes, supervises and monitors. From teacher to coach. Each school can set up a set of standard formats to guide students so they have ideas about the extent, size and suitable structure. The school also has a number of undertakings in which students fulfill positions; some of the students will be commited to the content of the iPad like a video journal about the main events at school, a website/blog about the state of affairs at school, and written, photographed or filmed reports on guest appearances at school (eg parents). The tablet distinguishes itself: it combines what specific devices could in one device. To equip each child with a digital camera, a video camera, and a laptop was a major threshold, in terms of costs and the learning curve. Due to the tablets, which all students posses (1:1 approach), all these tools became available for little or no cost, while the learning curve is low. We can already see the ease with which students in their home environment corporate their skills in the digital domain. Only a limited part is brought to school. Due to this 1:1 approach what we now call school, will change significantly.
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