UBS employee Christoph Gnodtke is placing his IT expertise at the disposal of a school. In this way, he is helping to ensure that all children have the same access to learning materials, even when their schools are closed.

When it comes to digital teaching, the school in Christoph Gnodtke’s home municipality is actually in a very good position. Alongside traditional classroom lessons, the upper school has also been using special online platforms for the last two years.

“When the schools had to close, I nevertheless wondered how this was going to work for the whole school and whether all the families had the necessary equipment and expertise at home,” recalls Gnodtke, who works in IT at UBS. A phone call to the municipal authorities confirmed his suspicions. Despite its experience with online platforms, setting up remote learning networks for all classes at the same time was a big challenge for this school.

Gnodtke offered his support and helped children to set up their PCs and tablets for distance learning. UBS allowed him to set aside two paid working days for this. The pupils experienced a wide variety of problems. Some were struggling to install the software, while others had difficulties with the network or their webcam was not working properly. “There are still children who don’t have a webcam at home or even a PC or tablet,” Gnodtke points out. “In these situations, the devices have to be deinstalled at the schools and then reinstalled in the children’s homes.”

In order to comply with the FOPH’s social distancing regulations, Gnodtke has attempted to solve many problems remotely over the phone. When this is not possible, he has even had computers delivered to his doorstep so as to avoid having unnecessary contact with anyone. “In addition, I always take my own keyboard and mouse with me,” he reveals.

Supporting the school during this difficult period is a no-brainer for him. “As well as assisting our community, I can also help to make sure that all children enjoy equal opportunities. The crisis is challenging enough as it is for many people and I would like to do my bit to ensure that technology genuinely brings relief to people rather than just more problems,” Gnodtke explains.

As an IT expert, he hopes that digital learning will now become established in schools more quickly. “Why shouldn’t children attend their lessons from home one afternoon per week? Working and learning from home should become much more normal,” he believes. And that should remain the case when the schools reopen.

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