Table of contents
Education for a new era 02
Part 1
The initiative “Education for a new era” 03
Part 2
The Practice 05
Course 05
Community 07
What makes this “education” attractive?
Schedule and school hours 08
Hardware and software 09
Collaboration between parents, child and school 09
Part 3
Management and organization 11
Important values and insights 11
The philosophy and establishment of the Board
Verification of result 11
Finances 12
The staff 12
The legal entity 12
educational concept
Education for a new era
The widespread dissemination of technology and the web in society has a major
impact on virtually all facets of life. The world around us has changed enormously in
recent decades and it is expected that in the coming years this pace of change will
grow even stronger.
Besides the physical world there is a virtual world where not only more and more
people are becoming more active, but where increasingly more is possible. For
part of our activitys economic and social boundaries of time and distance have
disappeared. We can choose what we do in the physical - and what we do in virtual
space. To save time, to improve our social and economic network and to make
it more efficient and to do things that previously were unthinkable. Young people
between 10 and 15 are, in comparison to the elderly, in a very natural way linked
with the computer and the web. They have grown up with it. However, there is a next
generation waiting to take up a new development. While the computer / laptop still
you will find a video of a girl
has the barrier of mouse and keyboard, the touch screen and apps for smartphones
and tablets ensure toddlers at a young age can enter the virtual world1.
of barely 2 years old with
an Ipad which she switches
This new generation is about to go to school and it is important to prepare them
on by herself, finds the right
for the world of 2030 and later, around the time that the education lets them loose
app and makes her choices
on society. What children need to learn has elements that seem to remain more or
less the same. But it has elements too that over time -sometimes radically- change.
These 21st-century skills are mapped at various places in the world2.
Think of the 21st century
project executed by
Education, however, has difficulty to adapt to these new ambitions. This education
Kennisnet in co-operation
is too much hampered by existing resources and structures. These are both in the
with Young people, schools
content of education and in concerns the way the school is organized, equipped
and businesses (innovatie.
and funded.
skills) or the American
initiative Partnership
for the 21st century – a
“Do we really prepare our students for the future instead of the past?”
“Can we organize education more efficiently?”
We are convinced that the good use of the latest technological developments
together with a maximum inclusion of informal teaching in- and outside the school
co-operation between the
can break through these barriers. The manifesto presents an educational concept
American administration
that will accelerate creativity and will connect education with the developments of
and businesses like Apple,
today and tomorrow. Thus education’s core business is to continue to perform in a
Microsoft, Dell, Cisco and
manner that is transparent and efficient in handling all available resources. In a way
the National Education
Association (
that is stimulating for children and connects to their own world, as to profit to the
maximum from their individual potential.
educational concept
The initiative “Education for a new era”
The initiators3 of “Education for a new era” intend to To start with education based
on a new model from autumn 2013. First the elementary school, grades 1 to 3 is
founded, and soon after, partly based on the experiences, we wish to broaden
out to the whole school and then to secondary education. It will be a school that
differs dramatically in structure from the school today. The physical structure will be
different, without the traditional classes and will have varying compositions of small
and large groups. Also the materials are different with an important role for the iPad,
aiming at a maximum of development of the personal talents of the student.
Our assumption is that learning is a continuous process that takes place not only
during school but also at weekends and during holidays. Education in fact 52 weeks
per year, 24-hour “open”. With many learning opportunities in a wide variety of
physical space (the “school”) and with many learning and training possibilities in the
virtual space. And in close cooperation with parents, both within and outside the
Technology plays a central role. ICT allows us to give everyone the attention they
deserve. ICT helps us with our ambition to do something collectively in a large group
only then when it is less functional to do that individually or in a smaller group. And
ICT realizes this within the resources available and within education frameworks. Of
course there are schools where the computer is already playing an important role or
where smartboards are used. And there are initiatives where textbooks on a tablet
are distributed among the students and more. But these are in fact still old ways of
approach using a new medium.
Irene Felix, teacher;
Maurice de Hond,
Erik Verhulp, Digischool;
Luc de Vries, director.
For example:
“Rekentuin”, an arithmetic
method in which the
We use ICT in all its strength. For example, we select good apps for the IPad inviting
to learn; we integrate attractive adaptive methods4 we train skills and both implicitly
development of the student
and explicitly test the level of student. Much is possible now. There are already
is followed, and new
thousands of apps available aimed at all age groups. The Dutch Digital School5
assignmnets are presented
launched a wide amount of software and know-how gathered for children in the
on the basis of the results.
virtual world to train and guide them in their own development. But we stay focused
on what is possible and will respond quickly to new opportunities. Our aim remains
focused on the skills young people need in the years 2020-2030. Precisely in order
educational concept
to provide quick adjustments to come, our new school opens outwards. Besides
parents, there will also be a good relationship with industry and interaction is built
over an “open source” approach to be connected with all stakeholders outside the
school. Experiences within the schools are shared with the outside world. And the
outside world is invited to come up with material and suggestions for use within
the school. Only by working together and by sharing we are able to exploit all
opportunities and to grow. Growth for our students, but also growth as a learning
organization. We connect in our ambition to have students acquire the right skills
to be successful in the society of 2030 in a modern, efficient and future proof way.
Always starting from the individual qualities and abilities of the pupils and in close
cooperation with the parents. And not dominated by static and outdated demands
that condition both teachers and students mainly to adjust to that specific set of
educational concept
The Practice
As of August 1, 2013 in 3 to 4 cities a school will be founded for up to every 40
pupils between 4 and 6 years of age. The school starts from the talents of the
children and guides them based on their claims. The school is open all year round
from 8 to 18.30. The traditional school care is integrated and part of the broad
talent care. During the opening hours there are on average 3 teachers/coaches6
active. Instead of classrooms, the school consists of several larger and smaller
multifunctional spaces. Each student has his or her own physical location within the
studio7 where the activities of the day start. Also, every student has a personal virtual
space. For example, within an Electronic Learning Environment (ELE)8, a web page
or a private Facebook9 page. For individual activities or activities in small groups the
students themselves choose a suitable workplace. The school is organized so that
students can easily find a safe place where they can work in harmony.
Coaches are highly
capable teachers or other
key workers. A coach
performs and invaluable role
in this type of education. He
(school building)
Een combinatie
fysiek (schoolgebouw)
and virtual (internet)(internet)
guides, inspires, motivates,
teaches, shows how to
study and is much more.
He is good at his work,
All students have an iPad, which is connected as a standard both inside and outside
skilful in modern media and
the school on the WiFi network The wireless network of the school gives access to a
especially good at dealing
with the parents involved
and with other specialists.
ELE which shows the development of the pupil, both in the physical and in the virtual
part of the school. This development can be tracked and recorded for the benefit of
the teacher/coach, the parents and the student. At the school there are at least 20
identical laptops or desktops available, which also give access to the ELE.
Studio: space in the
school set apart for a
specific activity (music,
reading, crafts), and doubles
as the home base for a
Our principle is: “Students do not work in a larger groups if with the aid of ICT
(individually or in small groups) at least the same goals can be archieved.”
small group of students.
For activities in which the mutual interaction or a joint undertaking is significant
Electronic Learning
Environment (ELE) is an
online environment where
students study.
(sing, play, visit something, attend a performance /presentation) a large group makes
sense. For all the rest, many other forms are effective. The classroom model in
which a teacher educates/instructs a large group of pupils that quietly listen is thus
Facebook: Social network
The role of the teacher is primarily that of the coach, less the teacher of the subject
and the controller of the pupils’ progress. Modern technology in the learning
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process will play an important role in providing the curriculum, learning, practicing
and reviewing the matter and follow the development of the pupil. Learning willl
take place individually, in pairs and in larger groups. It starts with the interests and
capabilities of the student. In the virtual space materials are available that fit the
interests and abilities of individual students. In this way we commit our education to
the learning styles of students, leading to better performance.
Besides the material of Digischool we use all the learning resources available at
home and abroad. For example, “de Rekentuin” and the “Taalzee”, and web-based
adaptive training and tracking systems developed by the University of Amsterdam.
Or think of the rich collection of learning materials the Khan Academy10 in the U.S.
provides. They now include more than 2,600 topics in arithmetic and mathematics.
Consider also the use of episodes of “Andere tijden” and “In Europa” for history,
geography or the travel programs or documentaries for biology. In addition, there are
free encyclopedia such as Wikipedia11, which offer countless topics, coupled with
many interesting links.
is recognized
Elk talent
The work will be much less sequential in comparison to the past. The student does
not learn the courses in a traditional manner according to a fixed base sequence, but
follows his or her own learning path based on their own interests and abilities. Again,
the role of the teacher as a coach is essential: he accompanies and encourages
the student, points to gaps and helps the student to overcome them. The challenge
A rich collection of
is that each student achieves the maximum For each student that will be different,
educational materials of
in terms of content level. This also means that every teacher/employee has to go
the Khan Academy from
through the same proces of professionalisation. A consequence of the ever faster
the USA with over 3000
growing and flowing of our society. There will be a need to find solutions for problems
topics for arithmetics and
we have not experienced yet. The students work on assignments and projects. In
this way, learning can be modified to the interest and the qualities of the individual
student and all involved are more aware that certain knowledge or crafting is required
and/or working knowledge is implicit or skilled. Although there are certain basic
needs that the student must acquire at least, there is no “one size fits all” approach
Wikipedia Nederland:
and each student gets a unique set of skills or gain based on his of her own talents
and interests.
educational concept
There are no minimum requirements expressed in relation to knowledge and skills
that the learner has to manage at the end of each school. There is a basic trust in the
direction of the pupils, teachers and parents so that (more than) sufficient skills will
be gained. Regarding the offer on the basis of experience in practice a set of “best
practices” comes available, accessible to everyone, both inside and outside the
school. To this end, teachers, parents and pupils assess the experience which is
documented and made easily accessible with ICT. Sports, exercise, healthy and
conscious living, awareness of the relevant social themes, art and creativity are
important components in projects within the school.
A community is thegroup which has a relationship with the school: students, teachers,
parents and the environment. The community operates on the basis of open sources:
the members use as well as contribute. In the virtual component, by the use of the
technology a lot of contact is made with the world outside. But also in the physical
school business activities and hobbies of parents and the wider environment are part
of the activities and projects. At least twice a year a parent is associated to a project
where such activities play a role. That may be to tell a story, to do a project with students about a accompany, or to make a visit with a group of students outside the
school so that this activity can be experienced “live”. It may also be that a parent shows
his of her skills in a coaching role. These assignments and projects are organized so
that not only students present can actually participate, but they are also recorded so
that others at a later time can experience it or parts of it. Specific presentations by
students, coaches or parents will be video recorded, edited and uploaded as YouTube
movie. Comments and ratings can also be recorded and made accessible. In this way,
community members get access to the entire package at a later stage.
Each school within the social network Facebook has a closed social group of friends
where parents and teachers can have mutual contact. In addition, each student
receives a personal account within the ELE of the school. This ELE is the keypoint
for learning. One part is completed by the students themselves: planning activities,
activities carried out, self-reflection and storing results. Furthermore, the ELE is
completed by the coaches: factual information, data, suggestions and feedback. It may
give the parents access to (parts of) the ELE.
educational concept
What makes this “education” attractive?
The virtual component via the ELE gives access to all learning resources available
at home and abroad, even to the complete curriculum of primary schools with
alternative materials for various learning styles. Both from his or her own school and
home each student can learn in his or her own learning style and needs. Powered by
the coach at school or by the parents the student shapes his of hers own learning.
under the guidance of a coach. Replacing the teacher in case of sickness or absence
is no longer necessary. Students can use the virtual department within or outside the
school to continue their daily activities under supervision, School care is superfluous,
because it has become part of everyday learning. Because of the child-orientation of
the offer, the school is many times more employable and can be better connected to
the biorhythm of the child. Remedial material is available centrally for each student.
Students can be accompanied by an internal supervisor who remotely using this
material that is available through the virtual school, and who plays a coaching and
reflective role.
The experiences at the school, including the curriculum and the reactions to it are
open to the outside world through the online community. This means that people
elsewhere also make use of the experiences and the offer can be used. This can be
at the school level or individual level. At the same time it is also a platform where
the outside world can give solicited or unsolicited advice filing such material, which
can be used in the school. In this way, there is a strong proliferation of positive
experience, which can be utilized elsewhere. Either from the overall philosophy or for
certain parts. It is hoped that the experiences gained there by then also be shared.
The school brings more connection between parents and child and the school
environment and also between activities inside and outside the school. Students,
coaches and parents get easier access to international learning networks. There is no
distinction between childcare and education. There will be more diversity in the daily
program and there are more opportunities to connect with the natural learning of
children. Locations near the workplace (offices) are preferred.
Schedule and school hours
It is important that parents, child and school search for the optimal design of the
time available, aimed at the development of children. Currently being the following
structure is being considered: Every week, a basic schedule of daily activities for the
following week is published. This basic schedule is also available via the Internet for
parents. The basic schedule has the following key times: 8.15 am, 9.15 am, 10.15
am, 11.15 am, 3 pm, 4 pm, 5 pm and 6 pm. - In principle, only between 11.15 am
and 3 pm the activities will take place in a large group. Besides the lunch those
activites can be for example a presentation or lesson of a parent, a performance,
sports, visits outside school or watching a movie/event and talk about it. Until 11.15
am and after 3 pm in principle only the activities take place individually or in small
groups to take place. - Parents can choose which of the 4 times between 8.15 am
educational concept
and 11.15 am they bring their child on a certain day and when between 15 hours
and 18 hours they pick up their child. Importantly, they have indicated in advance
the schedule what times they have chosen that week and that they keep to these
times. As in many companies nowadays, it is not primarily the physical presence, but
the output which is important. So it is at this school. Learning is not confined to the
physical presence in school, but is a more or less permanent state, even if outside
of school or “on holiday”. Even from the disease it is possible to learn, both for the
students themselves and for others. Holidays can be taken by the parents of the
children, up to 16 weeks per year and not longer than 4 consecutive weeks.
With support from the school, pupils can learn from the experiences they gained
during a holiday. This applies not only to the pupil concerned, but also for other
students. Holidays should be announced well in advance and pupils and parents
get holiday assignments which should be done. Through the ELE learning can be
followed and supervised by the coach. During this period, at least once a week there
is contact between parents and coaches about the progress. Upon return the student
presents a “digital report” to a group of other students about the assignment he or
she received. The report must meet certain requirements. For example, a geographic
component (Google Earth), certain facts (supported with digital photos) and a
quantity of relevant links. These presentations are available to the community.
Hardware and software
The tablet which the students have may also be used outside school. Outside the
school and outside school hours, the student has access to the ELE with the tablet
and so to learning materials. Via the ELE, the parents can see what assignments
their child is doing / should be doing. Students create digital presentations of special
activities (visits outside the school, presentations from parents, an internal or external
performance). The school has cameras and other hardware and software for digital
reporting. On the Internet there are many tools (and, more and more) which either
individually or collectively can be used. Knowledge and skills necessary to do so
before the students can get to work, can found within the community attached to the
school. The community provides an overview of these tools, including experience
and the names of those willing to play a supporting role. This also applies to nondigital components that are important for the students.
Collaboration between parents, child and school
This approach requires more commitment from the school of the parents. Parents
are members of the community and thus partly responsible. There are costs and
benefits, rights and duties. Each school will set up its own balance. If they fail to
do so it they are like all community members held accountable. If this is because
one wants to resign, or is inadequate in terms of available time or skill, then it is
attempted, by means of other (s) to compensate. With reluctance and/or failure
educational concept
to adhere to the agreed rules and tasks consultation on the commitment with the
school follows. This type of school requires different (including financial) efforts of the
parents. For parents who can not afford these efforts financial aid is available. Here
we ensure that in every group a minimum number of these students is present.
It will be appreciated that in this school not all activities are fixed in advance, and
is established at what moments which goals are achieved for each student. It is
also partly a “journey into the unknown”, partly because in the coming years the
possibilities of this virtual world continue to expand. It is also a type of school with
much confidence in the teachers/coaches, parents and not least in the students
themselves. They will be prepared for the future in an enthusiastic manner. And that
goes for all concerned.
educational concept
Management and organization
Important values and insights
In realizing our ambition we use the following starting points. Within Dutch education
we provide education and care that help the adults of tomorrow optimally to be a
good global citizen.
It is important that children, parents, school and environment are directly involved in
the development of the child. They are joint “owner”.
The establishment of management and organization is just as “open source” as the
organization of education. Only where the person is at stake, there is a limitation.
In many educational organizations is the child is central. We go a step further and
find in the development of every child our primary starting point with regard to
management and organization.
The philosophy and establishment of the Board
In the Netherlands we know various denominations of schools. The best known are
the Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, the Islamic and the general private schools. Our
school is open to every child which means it is a “general private” school. It is not the
school of today, but the school of tomorrow.
The layout of the board is guaranteed in the cooperative association (CA). All parents
are members of this CA and together they form the board. The main tasks of the
board are:
meet the requirements for providing care and education;
monitoring of the proceeds of the organization;
inspire and provide space for the deployment of people and activities.
The CA incorporates physical and virtual communities. They formalize the policies
of the CA. And they give a strong impetus to the development of this system of
governing and organizing.
Verification of result
We follow the broad development of the child closely. We do this offering by the
child the most appropriate learning resource. In combination with skilled employees
who have the quality to to follow a student in his or her development, the optimum
condition for the development of children. The child is always taking the next step.
What the student can do now determines what he or she does afterwards! The
verification of the results (especially the broad development of the child) can be
arranged individually and at group level. Obviously, we share these results (also) with
the Inspectorate for Education. In collaboration with universities and/or colleges, our
results are measured, analyzed, criticized and adopted, so that the development is
based on facts.
educational concept
We will have to deal with different funding streams. From the government, from
local government, parents and possibly others. We expect that companies will have
interest in this form of education. This means that financing consist of a number
of parts. This is necessary to provide the required accountability to the various
funders. In financing its education, we also organize the finances around the child.
A child will need to have the resources to enable the talent to develop. This requires
flexibility and creativity. This way of looking at funding for the primary process yields
at least much more room for choices than the simple yes/no in the current financing
system and leads to standardization of input from school boards and thus to
standardizeation of the input of schools.
The staff
We know from experiences in the country, that this form of organizing other demands
on the job structure. This will incline and becomewider. The goal is to create
maximum development around teaching a child with a minimum of management.
In the movement “Continuous improvement” that is now applied at some schools
in the Netherlands experience has been gained with this principle. Research shows
that challenging methods in combination with ownership lead to a managementindependent process of development.
Industrial relations follow where possible the’ CAO’ Primary education. In
consultation with the unions, who will be invited from the outset to have input in this
open-source project, the appropriate answer will be found. In the staff, we will will
encounter “virtual” employees. A teacher in Canada would temporarily be able to
teach one or more children, for example through Skype or ICal.
The legal entity
The CA will meet the requirements of the law to give care and education in the
Netherlands. We expect to encounter situations where the law currently does not
provide. How skilled is a virtual teacher? Should he or she be obliged to have
a licence? How do we arrange liability for the workers in this situation? We will
constantly keep working to find solutions to the structural issues that we meet. Much
of the communication will run over the Internet.
On our website we present out manifesto and we invite everyone to
participate. A compact backoffice is organized to start with. June 1, 2013 we expect
to actually start in 3 municipalities in the Netherlands. On 1 August 2013, the schools
are open. The back office will arrange for the necessary support of the board (the
CA) and schools (communities) in formation (focus, organization and conduct),
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maintenance of the website and communication (networks), setting up a database
ofopen source materials and teaching aids, setting up the legal environment
(statutes, etc.), establishing the control environment (management and accounting
information), setting up the financial environment (planning and control cycle),
organization of the human environment (Payrol and HR (t) M), provide liaison with
governments, science and research.