The problem in all of the German schools that I have observed and visited – more than 20 in Augsburg and the Ulm region – is that students are lucky to even have technology as a tool. Despite all of the inspiring ideas pinging around in discussions such as #EdtechDe, there is a massive disparity between the ambition of German EdTech enthusiasts and the ability of their schools to support them.
The problem is partly financial. Since 2000, Germany has invested only 5% of GDP in education, among the lowest of all OECD nations.
This lack of funding, however, could be easily overcome. 79% of German teens between the ages of 12-17 have internet-enabled Smartphones, which they bring in their pockets to school every day (unless they are banned, as is most often, confusedly and unreasonably, the case, since, as Talbert and Trumble put it, they are digital natives).
1 – It must become a nationwide priority to provide Wifi in all German schools.
2 – Policies that encourage the responsible use of students’ personal devices must be devised and put into effect in all German schools.
3 – Staff need to be gently introduced to the world of #EdTech through Twitter. A good Professional Development on how to use Twitter in education is provided by @mrkempnz and can be found here.