In 2020, Dorsten, a small town located on the northern border of the Ruhr area, made plans to further digitalise its schools. For this purpose, plans were made to distribute tablets with covers, keyboards and styluses to teachers and students alike at 19 public schools in town, in adherence with the guidelines of the DigitalPakt made in 2018. The initiative was funded by the local government in North Rhine-Westphalia and the town of Dorsten, which ordered a total of 1,500 iPads from Bechtle. Despite global shortages, the iPads were delivered by Bechtle, with individual engravings and the accessories to match.
Dorsten lays right on the border of the Ruhr area and the Münster region. It has 75,000 inhabitants and lies in close proximity to some of the region’s larger cities. Its location, at the edge of the Ruhr area, benefits both nearby city dwellers as it does its own townspeople, with its short distances and optimal transport connections to close-by city centres and cultural and sports venues. As a nice contrast, Dorsten also has about 80 per cent arable and wooded land and is therefore recommended as an easily accessible recreational retreat for the Ruhr region. Dorsten’s children and youth are taught at 19 public schools, which have been promoting efforts for digitalisation in the past years. From 2018 onwards, in conjunction with the federal government and the state of NRW, the town received funding from the “Gute Schule 2020” redevelopment programme for renovating digital infrastructure. Funding will run until the end of 2022 and contribute to constructing a digital infrastructure at all of these locations. Bechtle had already been involved in installing the schools’ WLAN network. When it came to designing concepts for digital learning, the city involved the schools.
The corona pandemic massively accelerated our digitalisation plans for schools. With the federal and state support programme for equipping the schools of North Rhine-Westphalia, the purchasing process became much easier for us. We had no time to lose, and this made Bechtle the perfect partner. The iPads were delivered to us to our satisfaction, despite the shortages, after being engraved according to our instructions with inventory numbers and the town emblem.”
Dirk Hülsmann, School IT, Town of Dorsten
With the pandemic, all of a sudden remote and hybrid teaching models were required immediately. In order to provide the teachers and all students with the right end devices, NRW passed an additional agreement to the DigitalPakt, for immediate equipment. This enabled the town of Dorsten to request funding faster and more easily, enabling them to order 1,500 tablets. The devices for teachers, who in Germany work directly for the state, were covered fully by the agreement for the provision of work end devices for teachers at schools in North Rhine-Westphalia. 90% of the costs for the 950 devices for the students were funded via the additional agreement to the DigitalPakt and 10% by the town itself. The project’s focus was to equip children that did not have access to a tablet at home and required a device on loan from the school so that they could take part in digital learning and do their homework. The request for funding was handed in in August 2020 by the town of Dorsten, after querying the schools about their expected demand and writing the tender for the 1,500 iPads. But a problem remained. The high demand led to a bottleneck in delivery for both the tablets and accessories.
The tender went to IT partner Bechtle who had already made itself a name in town and had a system house nearby. As an Apple Authorised Education Specialist, Bechtle always has a good stock of iPads and fair prices. This is why, in August of 2020, Dorsten ordered the devices from Bechtle.
Despite global shortages and to their great satisfaction, all 1,500 iPads with 32 GB of storage and WLAN capabilities were delivered to the town of Dorsten by Bechtle. The town emblem and individual inventory numbers were engraved into the devices before delivery. In addition to the iPads, Bechtle provided a cover, keyboards and a Logitech Crayon Pencil with each device.
While the devices were being engraved, the town of Dorsten wrote a manual for the students on how to use the devices and connect their stylus and Bluetooth keyboard. In the meantime, the town’s IT department prepared the installation file for the iPads, so that important apps would be available upon launching the devices. To achieve this, Bechtle worked together with Dorsten’s IT to come up with a concept for Mobile Device Management (MDM), which is ultimately how Dorsten implemented a consistent digital learning standard for all schools and classes.
The fast distribution of the iPads thanks to Bechtle helped the town of Dorsten make a huge step in their digitalisation process. Thanks to financing by the state and Bechtle’s large stock of devices, the second lockdown saw those students equipped with end devices who didn’t have access to them at home.