Digitalization of education in Germany

In the German media, due to education being an important theme and it being election time, it’s again a topic discussed widely. Should and if so how and at what cost and benefits the German education system change and incorporate more digital media.

Whoever is familiar with the German education system will know schools are at best on a dangerous level of the late 90s or early 2000s IT wise, and most of the time a sole teacher who was enthusiast took the IT upon him. They get 2 hours per month assigned for taking care of the IT classroom.

This is another typical German discussion.
The fact is that no one wants to pay for education in Germany and that the investment hold up must be dissolved first, then a unified school system independent of politics and electoral periods and country ministers would need to be implemented.

Regarding digitalization, the handling of particular media such as Facebook is certainly not something to teach during a lesson, but surveys can be done (Google, SurveyMonkey) and then also evaluate the results, work with statistics and how to ask questions. Writing and using and application of various work programs (Google Drive, Apple Note and Co and Microsoft Office) are already necessary to be taught. In art, the handling of image and video processing software, as well as design and character software, should also be a part of this. In music, accordingly, digital mixing, composing and so on.

Textbooks can be digitized on the IPad. So the children do not have to tow with outdated materials. They can always be kept up to date, and cannot be lost or forgotten by pupils.
Politics and geography would be able to benefit from the most current material and no longer decades-old books. Cost savings are also possible if you do not have to buy new atlases every year, but the digital and free available maps of Google and NASA uses, the publishers do not do anything else anyways …

Presenting must be learned, this is not as easy as many think; PowerPoint can be a useful tool, but you have to know how to apply it.

Social media competence must be used by schools since they are present at the playground and between the students. The rise of the harassment software comes to mind here. Otherwise, Facebook and Co has no relevance in the classroom. However, teachers have to master the handling and also learn not to be available all the time to everybody. Professional use then will have to be strictly separate from private, i.e. have different accounts.

To my knowledge, the Telekom is, incidentally, obliged to provide good internet at cost for schools in Germany.

A local and reasonably paid IT infrastructure at each school must then also be set up. No teacher today can do this as a hobby or side project any longer nowadays. Then the politics will have to spend money to ensure an appropriate It Support at each school. Meaning a system admin, which does not like in Germany typically swears on useless and uncommon Linux shit and a hardware specialist per school. Meaning each 250k salary and ancillary costs per school per year (fill-ins must already be available).

Of course one needs then for each student a correspondingly current hardware which must be replaced every 3-4 years. But an IPad, MacBook, and accessories or a good surface pro are also available for 2000 euros at list prices. This could be either brought down through political measurements to be provided at cost by the companies so roughly a half or less. Which also would distribute over 3-4 years minus the cost of textbooks and copies and the whole other is then a null sum at most. Check the price for Schoolbooks.
Only publishers and their lobbyists will not so gladly see these changes. The materials can by the way uniformly the BPB provide digitally if one only wants and the whole Germany-wide unified … Classical literature gives it eh for free digital of the libraries.

If one wanted one could probably renew the infrastructure with a few billion Germany-wide and then start a complete overhaul of the education system and not be at a loss at the end. One would only have to be willing to remove the politically encrusted current structures.

Teachers are not to blame here. I know enough on a personal level in every age class. If you make appropriate and useful training offers, then there are 90% more than willing to change and motivated., the rest is anyways already in the burn-out, due to the current situation and lack of consistent support from politics.

But our current ruler Merkel is afraid of any changes, her politics well know for fear of the Unknown. She called the Internet Terra Incognita for everybody a few years back…

Digitization is a tool you must be able to use, not for your sake, but which will be indispensable in the future.

Coming from an IT background working for Social media companies, using it myself hugely, and working for companies making their revenue through Process digitalization and optimisation, I do know at least a little bit about this context

 

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