Summer break is often a needed respite from school, but it’s also a natural time to think about how the classroom experience might be improved. Here’s a look at seven educational innovations from around the world. Should America consider adopting any of these? Some of these innovations are technological, while others are philosophical. Some are brand-new, while others have been around for a few decades. All are enhancing student learning in interesting and sometimes counterintuitive ways.
England: The Paperless Classroom
At the Essa Academy in Bolton, outside Manchester, all students are given an iPad and classrooms are equipped with cutting-edge digital projectors. The technology has helped the once-failing school become one of the highest achieving in the region. All classes are organized through Apple’s iTunes U, which lets students keep their digital materials all in one place. Students can even design their own digital courses, which then become available worldwide. Technically, the school is not entirely paperless—students still take their exams the old-fashioned way.