Hailed as one of the most impressive tech overhauls seen in education in Europe, the historic and internationally recognised Geschwister-Scholl-Gymnasium (GSG) in Velbert, western Germany, has installed almost 100 new Philips interactive digital displays and monitors to revolutionise the way it teaches and communicates with its students.
With 720 students and 55 teachers, GSG carries the name of iconic anti-war activists Sophie and Hans Scholl – brother and sister, and founders of the now revered ‘White Rose’ movement – a resistance group set up in 1942 and run by students at the University of Munich to decry Nazi crimes and the political system. Both Hans (24) and Sophie (21) were executed in 1943 for their views.
With high standards and intense efforts to support its students and tutors, GSG wanted to remain ahead of curve by utilising the latest advancements in education technology. With both an eye on the present and the future, the vision was to step away from traditional chalkboards and overhead projectors, embarking upon a complete digital overhaul that would inspire its students with immersive experiences and limitless connectivity. Considering the volatility of global events, the GSG also needed a solution that was flexible enough for on-campus student information and distance learning, ensuring education, whatever the conditions and challenges, will continue to be accessible.
After an intensive process exploring the global marketplace, GSG partnered with PPDS – the exclusive global provider of Philips professional TV and signage solutions – for a complete digital transformation.
The project included the installation of 96 displays – ranging from 24” to 86” and also utilised a suite of products from other leading brands, including TV bracket and wall mounting manufacturers, Vogel’s and SmartMetals. New PPDS partner, Logitech, and German-based digital signage CMS software specialist, mdt Medientechnik (MDT), all came together to upgrade and transform areas – including classrooms, hallways, dining spaces and others – throughout its buildings.
Chalkboards were replaced with (or placed beside) thirteen commanding Philips T-Line 86” and 75” multi touch interactive and anti-glare, anti-reflective, 4K education displays, designed to enable advanced levels of collaborative learning through multimedia content and freehand input directly on the display with ‘whiteboard mode’. With up to 20 touchpoints at the same time, students can get creative together by physical interaction on the display, while students in class and at home are able to take control of the screen from their own securely connected device.
In addition, ten Philips 10” T-Line displays were placed outside each classroom for easy-to-read dynamic content, including the name of the room, lesson, teacher, and other important information, enabling greater room scheduling versatility and faster class efficiency.
The school was also strategically fitted with a suite of seventeen Philips D-Line and Q-Line displays (49” – 86”), allowing the school to ensure all students and teachers had access to live information at all times. This ranges from health and safety information – such as social distancing and areas where masks are required – wayfinding, school events and activities, as well as timetables. Content and information can be created and shared quickly and efficiently using the exclusive PPDS CMND platform, while all displays are controlled via a custom CMS, which allows for automatic and manual updates from a central location. This reduces risks of disruption, helping tutors to start lessons on time and maximise the learning experience.
Lesson management has also been digitised by utilising the recently launched i3LEARNHUB learning software, a cloud-based digital creation and learning platform, designed to enable teachers to bring digital content to students, stimulate collaboration and prepare them with 21st century learning skills.
The software provides teachers and students instant access to an extensive range of new educative and collaborative tools, designed to help teachers create fresh, inspiring and feature-rich tailored content to present during lessons, turning classrooms into highly interactive workspaces and facilitating hybrid learning.
The platform is used by a growing digital community of over 50,000 educational professionals, in which teachers from around the world come together to share ideas and best practices, with entire lesson plans able to be downloaded.
Janine Hager, head of the school parents committee, Geschwister-Scholl-Gymnasium, commented: “A digital quantum leap. The new equipment with an XXL package of interactive Philips displays for lessons, info displays, digital door signs and additional IT monitors for our IT rooms fills us with a lot of curiosity and confidence for the new school year
Frank Trossen, International Key Account Director at PPDS, added: “Education is a key focus for PPDS and we’re working incredibly hard to bring truly innovative and transformative hardware and software solutions to market that address both current and future needs for the modern classroom.
“We were delighted to have been selected as the standout choice by Geschwister-Scholl-Gymnasium – a name synonymous with high standards and quality – to play an integral role in what a truly significant and impressive technology overhaul in the education marketplace. At PPDS, our focus is always on the customer, building high quality technology and working with the world’s leading providers in their respected fields, to overcome challenges and obstacles of today and in the future. Whether that’s camera technology or game-changing software designed for education, as a provider of ‘total solutions’, our aim is to make installations such as this a smooth, fast and effective one. We’re delighted with the result, which will positively impact a generation.”