The Europaschule Aldegrever-Gymnasium in Soest might be small, but it certainly packs a punch. Nicknamed Alde, the school’s core concept is ongoing quality assurance and innovation. The idea is that the pupils experience diversity, not just in terms of language, culture and knowledge, but also when it comes to the tools used in the classroom, which at Alde, ranges from traditional blackboards, text and exercise books and posters to interactive whiteboards, PCs and document cameras. Another crucial part of the concept is that pupils use their own tablets from 5th grade.
The idea is that whatever the teacher writes on the board can be studied at home on the iPads by the children. By doing so, the iPad becomes a natural part of their day which they can then easily integrate into their lives later on. Another aspect that had to be considered was that purchasing or financing needed to be as simple as possible. The Europaschule Aldegrever-Gymnasium were, therefore, looking for a partner that was able to offer the devices and related services such as software installation and configuration in online shops specifically designed for the school and configured to the needs of the individual year groups and accessible only to parents with children in those respective years. Alde’s biggest wish was that the orders should be delivered at the same time and as promptly as possible. The parents not only have the opportunity to purchase Apple devices, but also accessories ranging from various manufacturers’ styluses and cases to PCs and smartwatches.
Our aim is to introduce our pupils to a range of tools and the iPad is one of them. As a school, we simply cannot afford to let our pupils out into the world with only half of what they need to get by, which is why we use the iPads purchased by the parents from grade 5. It was extremely important for us to find a partner that was able to implement a very simple system of ordering, and Bechtle told us, “Of course we can set up an online shop,” and the rest was easy.
Hendrik Bause, Apple System Administrator, Europaschule Aldegrever-Gymnasium
None of this was an issue for Bechtle which was able to fulfil Alde’s wishes for school offers, parent-financed hardware and software and individually configured online shops. The IT company presented the shop in detail at parents’ evenings. The system making it all possible is the brainchild of Ideaalnet and Bechtle was able to adapt it to the needs of Alde in just two weeks. All year groups can now see precisely the devices available for them in the shop. The products for each individual year group were decided upon in workshops with Bechtle. In the Alde shop, each iPad comes with a case, full warranty and basic installation as standard, all of which are automatically selected. Bechtle also saw to it that each child or parent received their own login credentials they can use to access their specific year group’s shop.
Payment can be made via direct debit, bank transfer, credit card, or through Santander financing with the money going directly to Ideaalnet, which monitors the payment processing before forwarding the funds to Bechtle. The online shop is only accessible for a pre-defined period of time and is closed again as soon as all orders have been received for a year group. The ordered devices are installed with the required software before being delivered to Soest. Bechtle handles DEP ID registration, connecting the iPads to Apple School Manager and installing year group-specific profiles and apps, the image for which Bechtle and the school defined beforehand. Specialist apps or those needed at the last minute are installed directly by the school using Mobile Device Management (MDM) as Bechtle provides each iPad with an MDM lifetime licence so that Alde can add new devices directly to the device management. The iPads are also configured to connect to the school’s own Wi-Fi. As soon as they are turned on at the school, they automatically assigned a Wi-Fi Service Set Identifier (SSID) and they are ready for use. If there are any requests for changes to the images, products in the shops or indeed the opening times, the Bechtle Service team can make it happen in a snap.
With the new online shop, Bechtle has given the Europaschule Aldegrever-Gymnasium’s parents a simple tool for ordering the iPads required for the classrooms as well as access to Apple’s entire portfolio. A shop has been configured for each year group, which is accessible to parents for a specific period of time so that orders can be processed quickly. In this way, the school can be sure that exactly the right devices with the right configurations are being used by their pupils, and the parents don’t get bogged down in ordering and can even order matching accessories at the same time. Furthermore, any changes the school would like to make are quickly implemented. This was exactly the vision Alde had in mind for ordering tablets, and one Bechtle was able to make a reality.