Creating Modern Learning Experiences with Cloud-based Technology

Cloud-based technology for learning has helped foster collaboration, personalize lessons and better prepare students with modern skills at Skørping School, a small, remote school in Rebild Kommune, Denmark.
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A Cloud with Many Silver Linings
Denmark’s Rebild Kommune covers an area of 390 square miles and has a total population of roughly 30,000 citizens. Rebild’s Skørping School is nestled in the middle of Denmark’s Rold forest. While set in a relatively remote location, the school is dedicated to creating compelling and modern learning experiences for its students. Cloud-based learning and technology has helped Skørping to foster collaboration, personalize lessons and better prepare students for the needs of the 21st Century workforce.

School Needs
Rebild Kommune is a municipality in Denmark serving more than 1,600 students. The infrastructure in the municipality’s schools was in desperate need of an update. Teachers were frustrated that slow boot up times were eating away at valuable lesson time. Waiting for old technology to work also squandered the attention-spans of easily distracted 9 to 12-year-olds who were accustomed to fast-moving devices that could keep up with their active minds. Rebild Kommune also needed devices sturdy enough to survive a typical school day.

That is when the Rebild Kommune school district paired with Lenovo to equip students with specialized Lenovo ThinkPad Chromebooks*. “The school district was a bit afraid at first because they did not know of any products that suited their needs from an education standpoint: from a ruggedized and ‘school survival’ point of view in particular,” says Lenovo Denmark’s Jens Henrik Thomsen.

Lenovo had durable models in the United States with rubber around the edges so that the devices could better survive a typical school day. However, Lenovo could not simply take the U.S. model and bring it to Denmark. So Lenovo designed a unique Nordic keyboard. This keyboard was also stronger, with the keys themselves much harder to pop off.

“We have made a massive investment for the last two years with technology, and the students in third, fourth, fifth and sixth grades are using Chromebooks now,” says Hanne Larsen, School Manager of Rebild Kommune’s Skørping School. “That means we have approximately 400 Chromebooks and that our students are educated in Cloud computing.”

The Lenovo ThinkPad Chromebook enables Skørping School students to work on projects together simultaneously in the Cloud while giving instructors the flexibility to offer real-time feedback. Together, these tools are connecting students and teachers in entirely new ways.

Solution Approach
Rebild Kommune is the first in the country to own these unique models. The devices appealed to the municipality’s finance teams due to the reduced Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) resulting from lower direct and indirect costs. The ease of using a single console to manage security, without needing to maintain applications and database servers, also made the IT Management team happy.

 “What I like about the Lenovo Thinkpad devices is the response time: they are very, very fast,” says Jakob Rasmussen, Skørping School ICT and English teacher. “So from the time you open it up and log in, it is 10 seconds, and you are ready. That is so important to the teacher that — in 10 seconds — everybody is ready on his or her Chromebook, ready for work.”

“It is much easier for me as a teacher to see and guide each student, because I can see what they have been doing,” explains Skørping School Craft and Design teacher Inge Kollerup Sorensen. “A teacher can sit down on the computer after class and see what students have been doing that day, as well as what a particular child has been doing.”

Results That Matter
Unfettered access to the latest technology empowers students to truly own their learning, giving them the opportunity to work collaboratively and to build and shareknowledge in a fun, fast and flexible environment.

Skørping School primarily uses Google’s Classroom*: a working environment where the teacher has all assignments and students on one page. Students, likewise, have their lessons and assignments all in one place. Cloud-based solutions and Lenovo technology create seamless learning experiences to give teachers and students the tools to collaborate, share ideas and learn.

“We are trying to get the children ready for working life as adults, and it is important that they can make choices of their own, and that they have the tools for investigation. That is actually what the Chromebooks helps us to do,” says Jesper Johansen School Manager of another Rebild Kommune school, Black Bakke.

Skørping Danish and English Teacher Louisa Bogelund agrees. “This is a lot better than the way we used to work,” Bogelund says. “Computers and Cloud-based workflows are the environments that our students are going to be facing in a few years. I think it is an excellent idea to teach them now.” 

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