The free and open source file hosting solution Nextcloud is available in the Univention App Center either preconfigured or as a virtual appliance and is therefore quickly installed and set up on UCS. Nextcloud can also offer it‘s services on a central server in large, distributed environments and is therefore ideal for integrating network shares from other computers.
The district of Harz as a school authority recognized early, that a school has different needs than the public administration. Therefore the school IT is separated from the IT structure of the administrative district. Our structures enable us to remain flexible and to respond to the individual needs of the schools. A special school needs other applications and end devices than a grammar school. Nevertheless, both systems must be manageable and functional.
In this blog article, I would like to describe the challenges we encountered as a district with a large surface area and a multitude of small, spread-out boroughs when it came to allowing the use of mobile devices in our schools and keeping the efforts associated with the introduction and support to a minimum at the same time.
As a media center in Bremerhaven, we support a total of about 40 schools, 1,700 teachers and 17,000 pupils in the use of IT and other media. When we began implementing our digitization strategy in early 2015, the introduction of a learning management solution was at the top of our list of priorities. But even then, we were already considering offering further services, such as a service e-mail address for teachers. At that time, however, there was still no standardized database in which the data of all pupils and teachers was available to which a learning management solution or a e-mail server could be connected.
iPads in schools
The digitisation in schools that are equipped with UCS@school continues to progress rapidly. Many school authorities and federal states are providing schools with mobile terminals for use in the classroom. Apple’s iPads in particular are in demand. The devices are robust, easy to use and affordable. They are also equipped with a large number of special apps for digital education.
While iPads are usually tied to a single user, there is one exception for schools with the so-called shared iPads: Students authenticate themselves with their credentials and can thus access personal data, homework, apps, books, etc. This not only saves costs but in combination with mobile device management also a lot of time, as teachers can manage the contents centrally.
Working from anywhere has only become possible and effective through the cloud, but the administrative effort involved in integrating and maintaining all users can be horrendous. On top of that, data protection is a delicate issue for cloud services. In this article you will therefore learn how our connector provides a solution and how you can install it easily.
Since 2003, the Bremen „Senator for Children and Education“ has been developing and implementing a centralized offer for the provision of IT infrastructure in Bremen‘s schools. Among other elements, this covers centralized identity and infrastructure management, defined server and desktop environments, software distribution of educational applications for schools, a school software solution for computer-assisted teaching and roll-out, support, update and helpdesk procedures.
The JOBELMANN-SCHULE – Berufsbildende Schulen I Stade vocational school developed its own social network for teachers and the school administration. Open Source made it possible to set it up in a manner that complies with the latest data privacy regulations, and the use of Univention Corporate Server for the basis also makes it easy to administrate.
The JOBELMANN-SCHULE in Stade has around 2,250 students, almost two thirds of which attend part-time while they complete vocational qualifications. There are 130 members of staff on site offering instruction in more than 20 careers requiring practical training. E-mail communication between the staff and students has long been handled by the groupware “Tine 2.0”, which is based on Univention Corporate Server and which we introduced some time ago with the support of the Hamburg-based company Files Per Hour. However, the majority of faculty members also wanted to offer the students a means of communicating with them outside of class. To this end, they began looking for a platform that spoke to the young people: a social network.
Every knows e-mails, but students are now using this communication channel less frequently and intensively. In addition, many solutions are not secure. In contrast, they do use Facebook, WhatsApp, etc., intensively. Those applications are out of the question for use by a school though, as there is absolutely no guarantee for the protection of personal data. For data privacy reasons, the official use of such networks is also explicitly forbidden for schools in the majority of the German states.
A large-scale project is currently under way in Cologne, Germany: the setup of a standardized, centralized identity infrastructure for all schools. This is set to include considerable simplification of the software distribution and the administration via the education authority over the coming years and measures to ensure that the schools in Cologne are ready for the digitalization of education.