Private Schulen PINDL: Digital learning at its best

Thanks to Jamf, Private Schools PINDL offers its students a modern learning environment focused on individual strengths.

The PINDL Private Schools operated approximately 1400 Apple devices during the 2020/21 school year with Jamf Pro.
The successful integration means that the number of devices will be increased to 1800 devices in the next school year.
The central management of all devices at all five schools can, in theory, be carried out by just one person.

Digital learning at its best

Private Schulen PINDL

The Private Schulen PINDL offer students a modern learning environment focused on individual strengths. The educational institutions are located in the Regensburg region and are comprised of two business schools, one middle school, one high school, one technical college, one boarding school, and the miniPINDL kindergarten. The private school board decided in 2014 to introduce iPads to enable digital learning. Approximately 1,500 students are thus developing skills to be competent and confident in increasingly digitalized environments and to meet future workplace challenges.

The Path to an Apple Learning Experience

Prior to using iPads and Jamf Pro, PINDL's first experience with digital education was the introduction of laptops in classes at PINDL's middle school. However, in order to maximize the advantages of mobile and flexible learning, the school's administration decided on a concept that uses tablets to teach the students the necessary media competencies and skills that are expected in today's world. “We didn't want to simply transfer the analog world onto a tablet, but to exploit the full potential of digital teaching: a multimedia education that is interactive and encourages personal learning. The students learn to work independently, research and create films, presentations, comics and so on. Very quickly it became clear that each student should have access to their own iPad,” says Jakob Müller, the Director of Digitalization at the PINDL. The PINDL Middle School is now officially considered an Apple Distinguished School, where Apple devices are exclusively used.

A thorough preparation makes for a successful implementation

Jakob Müller's team made a conscious decision to introduce the devices over a longer period of time. As early as 2014, in the initial phase of launching the devices, the first Jamf Pro training sessions for the iPad took place. 100 new iPads were introduced to two 7th grade classes in two schools at the start of the 2015/16 academic year. Every year, students take their device with them as they progress to the next grade and the new seventh graders are issued their own iPads. After two years, the iPad inventory was expanded to include designated classroom iPads for the 5th and 6th grades to selectively introduce them to the use of the tablets. There are currently nine iPad managers working at the five schools.

They are not designated IT professionals, but trained faculty members capable of dealing with issues or questions in connection with the use of the iPads and Jamf Pro.

The documentation and the Apple Community Forum, Jamf Nation, provided quick and effective help and were particularly relevant during the initial phase of “Jamf is ideal for transferring the organizational structure of our schools into the digital world.” Jakob Müller Head of Digitalization at PINDL Private Schools the process. “The learning process and the many considerations put forth by faculty and iPad managers during the developmental stages were a necessary to get us to where we are today”, Jakob Müller points out. The users have now organized themselves into fixed Smart User Groups and Smart Device Groups that are an exact reflection of their respective classrooms and groups in school, creating a virtual 1:1 mirror of the school's organizational structure.

Jamf is ideal for transferring the organizational structure of our schools into the digital world.
Jakob Müller Head of Digitalization at PINDL Private Schools

Unbox and get started. Jamf makes it possible

The day-to-day device management can be kept quite lean, as all devices are centrally managed. The basic configuration is the foundation upon which schools can make modifications according to their individual needs. When students progress to the next academic year, the new configuration profiles for that particular grade are automatically installed on all devices at the press of a button. This transition is made possible by the parameters defined by the Smart User Groups — even when students change from one type of school to the next.

At present, around 1,600 devices are actively being used at the PINDL Private Schools. The upcoming school year will see the number of iPads increase to 1800 in addition to the introduction of 110 Apple TV devices. A centralized and automated device management means that the configuration of new devices can be completed in a matter of minutes. Jakob Müller is looking forward to expanding the inventory of devices for the upcoming school year: “The great thing about using Jamf Pro is that it is practically invisible for students and faculty —precisely because it works so well and runs so smoothly. The technology disappears entirely into the background. The users are able to unpack their device and immediately get started.”

The Jamf Self-Service Catalog encourages creativity and spontaneity

The PINDL Private Schools use the Jamf Self-Service App Catalog which provides them with a comprehensive list of apps that have a proven track record in the education sector. This way, users don't need to worry about which apps they should download. Anything they may need has already been installed by the iPad managers and can be found in the Self-Service Catalog. The spontaneous use of apps is also possible: “If a student wants to download a specific app, we can make it accessible through Jamf Pro. We do, however, take great care to oversee and control the software”, says Jakob Müller.

The PINDL Private Schools consider this combination of structured and individual learning as essential to the joy of learning. Often, when students or faculty “discover” applications that they consider useful, they are included in the official app catalog. Jakob Müller considers the synergy between personal and educational applications as significant as it underscores PINDL's concept and approach to media education.

It is a pleasure to see which paths the students are able to take, thanks to a perfectly functioning technology running in the background and to see what wonderful outcomes it leads to.
Jakob Müller Head of Digitalization at PINDL Private Schools

Digital learning with ease — even in challenging times

With Jamf, the PINDL Private Schools were able to respond effectively to the abrupt onset of homeschooling in German schools during the 2019/20 school year and again in 2020/21, particularly with regard to data protection. “We weren't overwhelmed by details, since we had already taken all precautions to ensure that Jamf met all the data hosting and control requirements for its use in the educational sector”, says Jakob Müller. “In response to the Corona pandemic, we have significantly increased the number of devices to prepare ourselves for hybrid lessons and to include grades 5 through 7 in these preparations.”

The combination of iPads and Jamf Pro supports the PINDL educational concept in the best possible way. Students acquire the media skills that are expected of them in this day and age, while the devices are managed almost completely in the background and require very few human resources.

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