New Way of Working

School 4.0: Support with the digitalisation of the classroom 

Schools, as well as companies, need to establish digital structures – and do so in next to no time due to the ongoing pandemic. For Nicole Nebelung, digital expert at ERGO, and Daniela Fink, business coach and trainer, the successful digitalisation of teaching is a personal concern. The successful digitalisation of teaching is a personal concern of Nicole Nebelung, Digital Expert at Ergo, and Daniela Fink, Business Coach and Trainer. They supported the teaching staff of the Albertus-Magnus Secondary School in digitising their lessons.

The ‘Digital Pact’ approved by the federal government in 2018 was supposed to make schools fit to face the digital future. However, the coronavirus crisis is mercilessly revealing a whole tranche of shortcomings and demonstrating that the digital infrastructure in German school is (still) not fully matured in many places. There is a lack of working concepts for online teaching - and they are still not available today.

Digital teaching is still not working seamlessly over nine months since schools closed in March 2020. Many schools have mainly focused on procuring digital terminals. By contrast, the actual organisation of digital teaching was often shabbily dealt with as a secondary matter, and often felt like a mammoth task. But tablets and computers alone do not make for good online teaching.

Pioneers of digitalisation at Albertus-Magnus Secondary School

However, there are nonetheless bright spots in the darkness of the educational digitalisation race. The Bensberg Albertus-Magnus Secondary School in Bergisch Gladbach is blazing a trail when it comes to online teaching. Thanks to the dedication of Nicole Nebelung and Daniela Fink, Business Coach and Trainer, the school is also benefiting from a systematic digital concept even during the current school closures. The successful digitalisation of teaching is a personal concern of Nicole Nebelung, Digital Expert at Ergo. “More than anything else, it is about actively involving the parents as well as the children in the process and bring-ing them on board in a targeted manner,” explains the mother of three children. We cannot leave any child behind in this.

The women’s collaboration fell on fertile ground with the teaching staff of the Albertus-Magnus Secondary School. Within a relatively short period of time, the two women were able to develop a catalogue of measures, taking into account the (digital) needs of students and teachers alike. Daniela Fink and Nicole Nebelung held workshops for the teachers, during which they discussed the technical elements as well as the methodology. This enabled digital teaching to work from the teachers’ point of view. It involved the use of Microsoft Teams and its associated technical capabilities. Breakout sessions for groups of students, presentations by individual students or the integration of video into digital teaching no longer present tech-nical challenges for the teachers. They are part of everyday school life.

Nicole Nebelung, Digital Expert at ERGO

A catalogue of measures as a transformation vehicle to digital teaching

The main focus is on the different methods of transforming existing analogue classroom-based teaching into a constructive online learning approach. The catalogue of measures, which was developed at the out-set, and forms the theoretical basis of the digital concept, is not a static construct. By contrast, it is a vehi-cle that can be adapted to each situation, and thus acts as an invisible guide even when needs change. An integral part of the catalogue of measures is ‘netiquette’, which sets out the behaviour of pupils and teach-ers during online teaching in a standardised form. This avoids irritations in advance. Nicole Nebelung and Daniela Fink are also committed to developing a digital timetable, which includes the scheduling of video conferences, working towards a well-planned school week. "We didn't want to wait any longer and wanted to get on board and share our knowledge and expertise from the world of business to support the school at a time when it needs and is open to our help and assistance,” comments Daniela Fink, Business Coach & Trainer.

Daniela Fink, Business Coach and Trainer

Digital possibilities provide the foundation for the future of Generation Z

Digital possibilities provide the flexible context for advanced or even entirely new teaching methods, which not only support the students in the here and now, but also provide them with important tools for the future.

It was a pilot project, which Nicole Nebelung and Daniela Fink were able to successfully implement into eve-ryday school life in cooperation with the teaching staff – and so turned remote digital learning into a suc-cessful model at the Albertus-Magnus Secondary School.