Making the Grade – the Schools of the Future.

Schools that rely exclusively on books are a relic of the past. Digital systems and tools are permeating through society, placing growing demands on schools. The city of Gaildorf, together with their community foundation and Bechtle, is showing what the results can be when the schools of the future make the grade. Even making a good impression on the Ministry for Education.

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Digital media is part of our everyday lives and its effective use is increasingly becoming a key to success in the job market. But how can we make sure pupils are prepared? In addition to training teachers, access to fast internet and sufficient display devices such as smartboards and tablets are decisive for the successful digitalisation of the school system. “In terms of digitalisation in schools, we have a lot of catching up to do, both in Baden-Württemberg and throughout Germany. By 2020, we will be investing around 680 million euros in network expansion and high-speed internet in Baden-Württemberg”, says Dr Susanne Eisenmann, Education Minister for the state of Baden-Württemberg, who was a guest in Gaildorf in October, looking at their educational institutions' flagship project.

Schul-IT project summit.

Together with Gaildorf’s community foundation, mayor Frank Zimmermann, the Gaildorf schools’ top IT officers, the Schick family and, last but not least, Bechtle COO, Michael Guschlbauer, the Education Minister gained an overview of the Schul-IT project’s goals. “We are putting our energies and millions of euros into renovating the Schenk-von-Limpurg and Schloss secondary schools, and it's all the more pleasing to be able to set up these schools to be more modern with the digitisation project," explains Frank Zimmermann. The first step is to install wireless internet in all rooms and a server environment that connects all educational institutions with each other. “School digitalisation is a very individual process. As a rule, a modern infrastructure, an excellent Wi-Fi network and efficient data protection concepts form a solid foundation,” explains Timo Wörner, the IT Business Architect at Bechtle responsible for public clients. 

We can learn a lot from you. They are a good deal further ahead in Gaildorf than we are in the Ministry with our approximately 4,500 associated public schools.


Susanne Eisenmann, Education Minister for the state of Baden-Württemberg


“Education summit” at the Altes Schloss: Education Minister, Dr Susanne Eisenmann (front, 4th from left) with representatives from Gaildorf schools, mayor Frank Zimmermann (far left), married couple Karin Schick and Jürgen Hinderer (2nd and 3rd from left), Gerhard Schick (2nd from right), treasurer Hans Joachim Hunn (4th from right) as well as COO Michael Guschlbauer (5th from right) and business architect Timo Wörner (far right) from Bechtle. Photo: Jochen Höneß

Future-oriented showcase.

The digital school does not want to completely do away with analogue media such as the classic textbook, but rather complement them. However, the pedagogical approach is not the only point requiring discussion: “In principle, the question of how to finance the digital schools still needs to be clarified between the Federal Government and the states,” added the Education Minister. Strong IT partners are becoming increasingly important for schools so that educators can concentrate on imparting knowledge instead of updating servers. “We enable schools to work in line with data protection regulations while teaching in a modern way. We have discovered that there are still many open issues that urgently need to be addressed,” emphasises Michael Guschlbauer, COO of Bechtle AG. The panel of experts are rightly proud of what has already been achieved in Gaildorf thanks to a great deal of commitment and excellent cooperation. Justifiably so, as the Education Minister stresses: “We can learn a lot from them. They are a good deal further ahead in Gaildorf than we are in the Ministry with our approximately 4,500 associated public schools.”

Published on Dec 20, 2018.