Oettingen in Bayern's Gymnasium is a long-time user of Produce & Publish (or rather its forerunner, SmartPrintnNG) for educational purposes. Its applications range from the generation of school reports and teaching materials to the creation of electronic books in various contexts.
We utilise Produce & Publish in an educational context via our "digital desk" (www.digitaler-schreibtisch.de) and for various purposes:
- Every student and teacher has individualised access and can deposit data, pictures etc. either in their own folder or in public folders organised by subject.
- According to project and subject, texts and images related to a particular topic can also be compiled by different groups of students and merged in a PDF using the Plone client connector.
As part of a religious studies project, for example, students collected prayers for different occasions and uploaded them to Plone, organised into folder structures. The entire project - a prayer book for the school - was then compiled in the form of a single PDF document by the Plone client connector, printed, and bound.
Students from different classes and languages (Latin, Ancient Greek and English) compiled their own texts and practice materials on our "Reading Workshop" platform. Some of these materials were then printed professionally as PDF documents and bound. A so-called P-seminar (project seminar, undertaken by final-year students of the Gymnasium to prepare them for university/work) is currently finalising an identical project as part of the new Bavarian "G8" system (grammar school in eight years as opposed to nine), where it will assist in the teaching and learning of the English language.
Students preparing for the Abitur (the most advanced of Germany's school leaving exams, taken in the final year of the Gymnasium) can also assemble collections of learning materials and synopses and then print them as PDF documents and use them to study for exams.
I am currently testing the new version, which offers the possibility of creating e-books. This, too, is being tested as part of a P-seminar, the goal of which is to "Develop a digital library". During this process, we aim to collect a range of learning materials (texts, pictures, audio and video) and make them available to the school in different formats (e.g. as PDF documents or as e-books with P&P) on one sever.
Students and teachers are increasingly coming to value the option of digital publishing and make ever greater use of it within their own projects. iPads are one of the main ways in which we access the content of the digital desk and upload it to the app iBooks, whereupon it can be read in the form of an e-book or PDF document. In this way, the user has access to consistently up-to-date content, which he or she is able to actualise, change and expand on at any time. Therein, I think, lies the future of school books too. We are only at the outset, but the future looks very promising.
Author: Alois Mayr, teacher at the Albrecht-Ernst Gymnasium Oettingen in Bayern