Dutch School Pulls Back from 1:1 iPad Program

The iPad might be popular and useful, but as Hondsrug College in the Netherlands shows us today, content is still king.

This private Christian school made headlines last year when they announced that they were issuing iPads to all the students. They were the first school in the Netherlands to do so, spending over a quarter of a million euros to buy 700 iPads.  And today they are getting even more attention as they transition back to paper textbooks.

According to sources, the school was more than capable of running the hardware side of the iPad program, but in their rush to use the tablets they forgot to make sure that their curriculum was ready  to be used on it. There simply wasn't enough academic content in Dutch, and from the sounds of things the teachers hadn't transitioned their material either.

This story caught my eye because it appears to be a classic example of how content drives hardware sales.  Do you know why ebooks didn't take off until 2007? It's because Amazon was the first to line up a significant chunk of the publishing industry and then make it easy for readers to buy (and then download) the content.

The iPad launched with Apple's 5 publishing industry conspirators present, and do you know why? Because content is king. Apple needed to show that their new tablet could promise the same access to ebooks that could be found on any ereader. Okay, selection was limited, but they did put on a good show.

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Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

1 Comment

  1. Tom18 July, 2012

    There’s a second issue with the content. The school also receives money from the government, so any big acquisition of learning materials has to be public. Also suppliers of printed media can make an offer to supply the study materials.

    IMHO the school management is liable, they were too “enthusiastic” when they jumped into this project and only checked if study materials were available for the first year… a good waste of at least 700 x 400 euro = 280k€

    Reply

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