The Faulbach School in Germany is an educational institution for about 110 primary and 110 secondary school pupils. When the COVID-19 lockdown occurred in March 2020, the school, like so many others, was working as fast as it could to find a solution to continue teaching its students.
Against this background, the issue of digitization played an important role. Some of the educators taught students via Jitsi Meet, an open-source video conferencing platform. Another important challenge was to be able to make documents available to the children electronically. But in the corona situation with homeschooling, it soon became clear that many families had no or limited access to laptops or tablets. “Educational opportunities also linked to families’ financial resources,” explains Andreas Singer, a teacher responsible for the school’s IT on top of his teaching duties.
In the first step, six reasonably well-equipped PCs helped, which an external IT service provider provided to the school free of charge as leasing returns. But it soon became clear that these computers were nowhere near enough to meet the demand.
Andreas Singer consequently applied for funding from the Bavarian regional government’s emergency aid package, allowing the school to purchase iPads. Financial support for 24 iPads was approved, which are to be loaned to poorly equipped families when school begins after the summer. But before they can be distributed, they have to be set up and equipped with the necessary apps. “When the devices arrived, I thought I could manage them with the Apple School Manager,” reports Andreas Singer. “But I soon came to a point where I wasn’t making any progress. And then a video mentioned that you need a Mobile Device Management System.”
Subsequently, he tried out various MDMs. One solution was incredibly complicated. Then he tried a second solution, but he didn’t like it either. Finally, he came across Cortado MDM during one of his searches. Andreas says, “For the first time, I found a manual in German. And I immediately saw results when I set it up. I got along really well. Otherwise, I probably would have given up.” He continues by saying “Sure, I could have taken the easier option and hired a service provider to set up the devices, but then I couldn’t have financed as much equipment due to the provider’s fees.”
With the new school year beginning, the iPads are now being distributed to the students in need. It’s also an option that individual devices will also be lent to poorly-equipped teachers. The devices are all prepared for use. Using Cortado MDM, he distributed two video platforms: Webex and Jitsi Meet. He also distributed other learning apps used in Germany as well as the Microsoft Office Suite. Andreas Singer comments “Worksheets, contacts, and videos: that’s what has to work at the very least.”
He chose the apps to the best of his knowledge and his colleagues could also suggest more apps. However, he is now properly equipped for the new school year.