Technology must be used to change, not simply assist, traditional education, according to Apple, which has called for personalised teaching for each student.
John Couch (pictured), vice president of education at Apple, said at BETT 2015 that technology is too often used simply to improve learning rather than to rework teaching techniques to the benefit of students.
"I have seen so many mistakes around the world where governments have said we'll get a local manufacturer, we'll buy a $200 box, put it in the schools, and the outcomes will change," he said.
"No they don't, because they are not paying attention to the model; they are simply throwing a piece of technology at the school, at the student, and expecting results."
Couch explained that too many institutions use technology as a substitute. "I'm going to give you this technology, I'm going to allow you to do the same thing you've always done, maybe a little cheaper, maybe a little faster," he said.
"But it doesn't change pedagogy in the classroom, it doesn't change the education environment at all. You need to use technology to empower you to do something you couldn't do without technology."
Couch said that Apple wants technology to be used to engage and challenge students.
The current generation of university students were three years old when Google was created, he said, and this has disrupted the way traditional education is delivered.
"This is the generation that is now sitting in our classrooms. We need a new learning environment that is going to meet the needs of this generation," he added.
Apple wants the education system to address the problem of individual students in the same classroom having different abilities and learning at different rates.
Continuing to teach them all in the same way causes frustration, boredom and a lack of engagement, according to Couch.
"When you think about it, we ask every student to do the same thing but each student is uniquely different," he said.
"And that's our line; we are in education because we believe that each individual student has a unique genius. And as educators, we should help that student find their unique genius."
Apple is suggesting a three-pronged approach of content, collaboration and context.
Content is about providing curated digital resources, which can be created as well as consumed, giving institutions like universities a way to bypass traditional publishing models.
Collaboration is the concept of encouraging students to work together with teachers and each other rather than being dictated to by just the teacher.
Couch noted that many students already collaborate through the use of social networking.
"When I was in school, collaboration would have been called cheating," said Couch. "Today it is a critical component of the learning system."
Context is about ensuring that the educational content and the way it is taught is relevant to students, challenging and engaging them, rather than having information transferred from a single source.
This approach will see real-time feedback from students to teachers and form a new way of assessment that will replace traditional exams and become more personalised.
Teachers would need to dedicate over 62 hours a week to create personalised learning plans, but this challenge can be overcome with the use of technology such as analytics, according to Couch.
"We need technology as the analytic engine to help the teacher. In most cases, technology has been the roadblock, but technology really empowers the teachers to meet the individual needs of each student," concluded Couch.
Couch's comment come amid controversy in the education sector after Russell Hobby, general secretary of National Association of Head Teachers, criticised schools for 'wasting' money on iPads and other tech gizmos, at the expense of spending money on more teachers.
Apple is not the only company touting technology as a key to changing the education system.
Jimmy Wales wants students to be taught how to use Wikipedia, while the government has launched a £3.6m IT teacher training scheme with Google, IBM and O2 to improve how computing is taught in schools.
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