How the iPad is changing the way we learn

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Auteur : Rhiannon Williams
Date de l'info : 16 mars 2015


“What’s wrong with education cannot be fixed with technology. No amount of technology will make a dent.” So said Steve Jobs in 1996 – during an interview in which the Apple co-founder claimed the bureaucratic, political and sociopolitical problems facing the education sector were beyond technology’s capacity to fix.

In the 19 years since Jobs uttered those words, the issues weighing heavily on the shoulders of educators, schools, universities and other educational facilities have undoubtedly multiplied. But so too have the ways in which technology can be harnessed to address some of the tensions within teaching and learning.

VoksenUddannelsesCenter Syd, or VUC for short, is one of 29 adult education programmes across Denmark, situated across the four towns of Haderslev, Aabenraa, Tonder and Sonderborg. The state-funded centres use legislative frameworks issued by the Ministry of Education, and are run by principals who answer to the centre board. The programmes originally issued students with MacBooks before plumping for iPads to replace traditional textbooks and paper-based essays two years ago, in a bid to help educate those who may struggle with more conventional means of teaching.

The Haderslev branch is a beautiful glass and bleached wood Scandi-cool building overlooking a calm body of water built 18 months ago at a cost of around 200m Danish krone (£20m). It caters for around 2,200 full-time students (around 8,000 in total, including distance learners as far afield as China and Kenya), aged between 16 and 60 over two years.

VUC centres aim to help those who may have struggled to learn within more traditional, rigid teaching systems, alongside adults wishing to gain new skills later in life, with an aim to equipping them with the qualifications necessary for attending university.

“Many of our students are dropouts from other education systems and they don’t believe in themselves,” managing director Hans Jørgen Hansen tells me. “They think they are stupid or not able to learn. A really important job for our teachers is to recreate their curiosity, so they remember it is good to be curious. They need to feel like they are able to learn, and that they’re succeeding at learning.”

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