Walter Isaacson, the President and Chief Executive of the Aspen Institute, has revealed some intriguing aspects of late Apple founder Steve Jobs' meeting with US President Barack Obama. The details were disclosed in Isaacson's biography of Jobs.
Isaacson reveals that Jobs was disapproving of the difficulties in setting up factories in the US, as well as the traditional methods of education within the country. The inability of the US government, to take advantage of Apple's technological capabilities, seems to have been Jobs' major lament, according to the biography.
"It was absurd, he added that American classrooms were still based on teachers standing at a board and using textbooks. All books, learning materials, and assessments should be digital and interactive, tailored to each student and providing feedback in real time," Isaacson wrote in the book, simply titled "Steve Jobs".
Isaacson revealed Jobs' dream of hiring great textbook writers to create digital versions of educational texts and make them a feature of the iPad, besides making textbooks free as a bundled offer with the tablet. The biography further hints that Jobs believed such a system would give the nation an opportunity to save money.
Now, however, it seems as if Jobs' vision could finally come true. A panel of four Dutch educators and politicians has proposed a method by which students could be taught with iPads.
The proposal [Google Translate] will be presented on Monday, in Amsterdam. The project itself has been called "Education for a New Era" and has been designed to help students learn "21<sup>st century skills" and explore beyond the limits of traditional classroom teaching.
It should be noted this is only a proposal, for the time being. However, the promoters wish to test existing educational apps and encourage the development of more. The proposed "Steve Jobs Schools" are expected to open doors in August 2013.
According to Macrumors, Apple rolled out a digital textbook initiative, earlier this year. The company partnered with three others - McGraw-Hill, Pearson and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - (who together control 90 percent of the textbook market in the US), focusing, for now on high school textbooks.
Apple presumably wants to expand the project to include all grade levels and eventually fulfill Jobs' vision of a digital classroom.