Secure Teaching Thanks To MDM & iPads – In Classroom & Home

Primarschule Balgach

Cortado enables Balgach Primary School to use iPads for classroom teaching and corona-related homeschooling during the lockdown.

Back in early 2015, the primary school in Balgach, Switzerland, started digitizing classes by equipping its first graders with tablets. Urs Wilhelm from IT Support in Balgach, who is responsible for the school IT equipment on a part-time basis in addition to his business work, is sure, “We have to ensure that the children are ready for virtual collaboration.” When it came to selecting a suitable MDM system, he opted for Cortado Server at that time. In addition to the classic MDM features, tools for mobile file handling, network printing, and app rollout were also important to him.

In the first phase, the Cortado system managed 20 iPads, and apps requested by the teachers were rolled out to the devices.

Two years ago, 25 more devices were added, so that three iPads were available in each class. They were used by the children for research in class or further tasks after completing assignments. Besides, the school, with its approximately 400 students, also has 140 notebooks available for work.

Lockdown Accelerated Digitization

“When we went into lockdown because of Corona, we had to react quickly,” reports Urs Wilhelm. “That brought the whole topic of digitization to the forefront again.”

Starting in the summer term, every 5th-grade student received a tablet device and then kept it with them for the sixth grade and so on. Classes are run via Microsoft Teams, and assignments are likewise distributed through that application. According to the IT expert, teachers were already equipped with devices beforehand.

To reduce the workload for IT administration, Urs Wilhelm decided to switch from the on-premises solution Cortado Server to the Cortado MDM cloud solution during 2020. He described the decisive argument for the switch by saying “With the Cortado MDM solution, there is no need for server maintenance. That is also a cost. And also, we have freed up resources on our IBM cluster.”

First, he trialed Cortado MDM with ten iPads, and during the vacations, added all the remaining devices. Since he was already familiar with the platform, Urs Wilhelm found that the switch was easy for him.

He continued by saying, “I am highly satisfied with the Cortado solution. Everything is very convenient. And if you don’t know something exactly, the support team will help you.”

About Balgach Primary School 

Balgach Primary School in Switzerland’s St. Gallen Rheintal runs five kindergarten classes, one introductory class, and 12 primary classes in three kindergarten buildings and two schoolhouse locations. About 400 children attend the elementary school, including about 95 kindergarteners. In Switzerland, the term primary school covers schools attended by children in grades 1 to 5 or 6. This school-level covers ages from about 6 to 12. Attendance at primary school is compulsory.