Sollentuna, the Stockholm suburb, is modernizing the school system, proposing to do away with textbooks by 2013 and replace them with iPads. Students from preschool through 2nd grade at the Tegelhagen School already have their own laptop and while the Minister of Education, Jan Björklund has voiced scepticism about a pencil free school the school principal is clear in her message: "I don't think the pencil will be around for long."

“Compared to the rest of society, the school’s in the backwater,” says school politician Maria Stockhaus (Moderate Party). Though it may sound like science fiction, Stockhaus doesn’t think it’s a day too early. “The school is going to take a step forward into the here and now instead of keeping with the past. The computer is just as obvious as paper and pencil, yet only every other teacher today in Sweden has a computer, and that’s crazy,” Stockhaus continues.


The municipality will start by equipping all teachers with computers, and within two years all Sollentuna students from the ones in pre-school to the ones in 9th grade will have been phased into a more digitalized school. Three schools, Helenelundsskolan, Sofielundsskolan, and Runbacka, have already received their new tools. The schools themselves can choose between PC, Mac, iPad or Android.

It's interesting to note that the iPad and other individual tablets have added a new word to the Swedish language: surfplatta.