How many schools with how many students and teachers do you supervise?
99 schools, approx.47,000 students, approx. 5,000 teachers
Which digital offers are you already using? How do you deploy them?
The state capital of Hanover (LHH) supports the schools in their administrative tasks, such as the maintenance and software equipment of the school secretariats’ computers.
There has never been a comprehensive central IT offering for the classes. By this, a large number of individual solutions have emerged in schools in recent years. The hardware procurement was carried out by the LHH and for the support the schools received an IT budget.
In 2015, the LHH council commissioned the administration to implement a media development plan as an overall concept, initially in form of a pilot phase. In six schools, experience was gained on how standardization of school IT can succeed. School IT support should be central and professional in order to largely relieve schools from administrative tasks.
In addition to being equipped with a WLAN and interactive board systems, the key element of this pilot phase was the setup of the platform schulen-hannover.de in the city’s computer center with the identity management from Univention and a learning management system from DigiOnline.
The results have been evaluated and measures are now being discussed as part of the LHH’s budget consultations to promote the schools’ digitization.
In which way were the offers used and how has this changed since the schools have closed?
As part of the MEP pilot project, more and more users came to the platform, and there were also more and more content requirements (connection to timetable, connection to grade management, expansion of storage space).
Which particular challenges have you noticed here? How do you try to meet these?
Each school has built up their own IT system over the years. The replacement of this in favor of a central solution involves a standardization, which can also partially conflict with the primacy of pedagogy. Dialogue with schools must be sought here in order to find meaningful solutions.
What other offers are you planning in the short and medium term?
With the closure of the schools, all of our schools are urgently looking for ways to provide their students with digital classes and to communicate with them. Since we already have a lot of experience in our pilot project and can provide a functioning offer, we have decided to react quickly to the situation by expanding the offer to 46 other schools during the Easter holidays.
All other schools have their own school server, so that communication between pupils and teachers as well as the provision of digital offers are initially ensured.
Further measures are currently discussed between the administration and politicians in order to make appropriate decisions.
How do you inform your students, teachers and parents about these offers?
Usually through presentations at information events and faculty meetings. As there are no on-site events possible right now, we mainly provide information via email and phone.
How do you plan to do this?
Connecting more schools to schulen-hannover.de
How do you support users to work with these offers?
Support for the schulen-hannover.de platform is provided by the LHH.
Do you have best practice tips for your colleagues?
It is clear that many school authorities are currently looking for quick solutions to process the requests. But it is necessary to take the schools along this way. That is to communicate and explain why it is necessary to do things this way and not another way.
The decision to set up a central identity management and connect services to it is essential for standardization. Also the move by the State of Lower Saxony to expand the pilot phase of the Lower Saxony Education Cloud does not create any problems for us, because we link the offer to our identity management and make it thus available to the schools.
Can we at Univention support you?
Not all schools have a strong broadband internet connection. So it may be necessary to continue setting up servers in the schools in order to make various services accessible and, for example, to create an overnight synchronization.
Mr. Clemens, thank you for the interview!