Hailed as one of the most impressive tech overhauls seen in education, the internationally-recognised Geschwister-Scholl-Gymnasium in Velbert, western Germany, recently turned to PPDS to revolutionise and futureproof teaching and learning – both in the classroom and distance – with the installation of near 100 new Philips interactive digital displays and monitors (24” – 86”).
Located in the stunning high hills of the Bergisches Land – just 20km northeast of Dusseldorf – is Velbert, a picturesque town, famed for its paradisiacal walking routes and rich history in the production and global export of locks, fittings and tools.
Among its plethora of spectacular views, streets of awe-inspiring architecture and museums, is the internationally-renowned Geschwister-Scholl-Gymnasium high school, which has been an integral part of the Velbert school landscape since 1903.
With 720 students and 55 teachers, this German school 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, while calling for resistance to the Nazi regime. Both Hans (24) and Sophie (21) were executed in 1943 for their views, but their legacy lives on with a myriad of venues and locations marking their sacrifice.
Today, befitting of its name, the GSG proudly stands as, not only a leading institution for high quality learning, but one that rallies again discrimination, prejudice and racism, and is a school with courage.
Since early 2000, the GSG has achieved European School accreditation, meaning a number of subjects, including geography, history and politics, are taught in both German and English, and that it receives government sponsorship for its educational advancements.
With high standards and intense efforts to support its students and tutors in providing best in class, highly engaging and inclusive learning environments and experiences, GSG wanted to remain ahead of curve by utilising the latest advancements in 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 for the solutions that met their high needs and requirements, GSG partnered with PPDS – the exclusive global provider of Philips professional TV and signage solutions – for a complete digital transformation.
Hailed as one of the most impressive tech overhauls seen in education in Europe, the project included the installation of 96 displays – ranging from 24” to 86”. The project 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.
Frank Trossen, International Key Account Director at PPDS, commented: “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.
Janine Hager, head of the school parents committee, Geschwister-Scholl-Gymnasium, added: – 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.