Lernstatt Paderborn

All Schools Under a Single Roof

Over the course of three years, the city of Paderborn has installed a city-wide sustainable infrastructure to support the use of digital media in all schools. This process was completed at the beginning of the school year 2004/2005. The main goal was to support all forms of individual and cooperative forms of learning within schools as well as outside schools rather than virtualising education and replacing existing forms of learning by individual learning processes.

To that end, an infrastructure had to be developed that allows ubiquitous access to digital media without imposing tasks of administration and maintenance on teachers or learners. The project thus focussed on supporting local and regional cooperative forms of learning, enhancing and supplementing them with national and international resources by integrating the Internet.

Based on the concept Sun@School and the goals of the e-nitiative.nrw, more than 1800 clients and some 100 servers were installed in local schools. Workstations have been connected via a network not only within the schools, but also between the schools. Working in the net thus allows the use of digital media during the lessons as well as at home.

Administration and maintenance are among the tasks of the communal computing centre (GKD Paderborn) in order to relieve teachers from those tasks. The GKD is responsible for running the network connecting the schools which is built on Paderborn’s educational network (PBBN) providing a broadband connection via the city’s traffic light control network. The network within the schools extends the connection to all class rooms where low-maintenance ultra-thin clients are at the hands of pupils and teachers. The configuration within the class rooms was designed according to the e-nitiative.nrw’s recommendations for the equipment of class rooms with so-called media corners. Computer class rooms in secondary schools complement this equipment.

The realisation was coordinated by a project group consisting of members from the City of Paderborn, the GKD, local schools and teachers, the Regional Commission Detmold, the University of Paderborn, and Sun Microsystems. Thus, it was possible to adequately account for the concerns and requirements of the different partners. Additional working groups were installed for special pedagogical and technical questions.

Among the tasks taken over by the Heinz Nixdorf Institute’s research group Computers and Society is also the development of the project’s cooperation platform “School Wide Web Paderborn” (sww-pb) where pupils as well as teachers obtain their own accounts, together with personal virtual knowledge areas. This platform is based on the “bid-owl” server which has been developed in cooperation with the Regional Commission Detmold, the Weidmüller Foundation and the Gütersloh City Foundation. One major application of this platform was in an additional project called “School Wide Web – Intranets in Schools”. In this project, carried out by the Bertelsmann Foundation and the Heinz Nixdorf Foundation, recommendations were devised for the development of knowledge management in schools, together with methods for a continuing training of teachers in the use of digital media. Also, the research group Computers and Society further developed and evaluated the “StarOffice 4 Kids” concept. In this solution, according to its motto “The world is my school bag”, tools and material are directly supplied via a browser to the users tailored to their age and abilities.

Thus, as of summer 2004, all of Paderborn’s schools have an efficient and at the same time easily maintainable infrastructure at their disposal. Teachers and pupils have been trained extensively to not only technically handle the equipment but also to use it effectively in teaching and learning. By guaranteeing ubiquitous access to the school’s network, the intranet and the Internet, schools as learning places are being extended: The city becomes a place of learning.

Cooperation partners:

  • StarOffice Software Entwicklung GmbH
  • kippdata Informationstechnologie GmbH
  • Sun Microsystems

Further informationen (only in german):