All pupils and teachers have a right to media education. We encourage and demand an active, creative and reflective use of analogue and digital media. The use of contemporary media and tools to enhance and support the learning experience plays an important role at our school. In 2018 the Nelson Mandela School has been awarded the title of Excellent Digital School by the Berlin Senate. If we have learned one thing from the pandemic-related school closures and online learning periods, it is that digitalization is very important, yet digitality even more so. NMS provides the digital infrastructure that our international community requires for a reflective, autonomous, and intuitive use of digital tools and media to support the learning processes. To keep moving forward, we need and appreciate the continued support of the school community, the Friends in particular.
Digital Excellency Award
On 8 May 2018 NMS received the Exzellente digitale Schule award by the Berlin Senate (Senatsverwaltung für Bildung, Jugend und Familie).
Media Concept & Digital Pakt
All Berlin schools are required to hand in a school-specific media concept before they can apply for the Digital Pakt funding. Our most recent media concept has been adjusted and forwarded to the Senate in September 2019. The new media concept has been approved by the IT Development Group and by the School Conference, before it was presented to and approved by the Senate. New servers were installed in P23 and P30 at the beginning of 2020. In 2021 NMS successfully applied for new PCs, monitors, switches, beamers, interactive whiteboards and laptops from the Digital Pakt. In March 2021 the Secondary school was connected to broadband Internet, the Primary school followed in May 2021.
Media education is not a separate subject in Berlin and has to be integrated in the existing subjects - following our internal media curriculum (see below). Since March 2020, the NMS has been working with the learning platform of Workspace: Classroom. From the start of the school year 20/21, we have been developing a hybrid learning concept, which meaningfully combines classroom and online learning. Since a few years critical media use and the topic of Fake News have been one of the focal points in upper Primary and Middle School. External partners such as Chaos Macht Schule and Lie Detectors regularly provide workshops for NMS students and teachers. Other cherished partners such as Junge Tüftler have been offering materials, as well as coding and tinkering workshops.
In recent years various internal workshops and conferences on the implementation of the relatively new Basiscurriculum Medienbildung (Media Education) have taken place at the NMS Primary and NMS Secondary School. After a school-wide inventory and evaluation, a school-internal curriculum for Media Education in Primary has been developed. In the secondary school media-education specific learning content has been included in a shared inventory, which will be further developed and implemented by the department heads. This new school internal curriculum for media education is work in progress and will be evaluated and continuously further developed. In 2020/21 NMS staff was offered a series of 5 online courses on the use of Classroom tools, to further support online teaching practices.
With the latest change in the Berlin curriculum in 2018, media education has become an integrated element in every subject in schools. Our school has been actively developing the internal curicula and has also organized several workshops and class projects in this area, such as:
- NMS digital-hybrid-media concept for the Dieter Schwarz Stiftung School Prize
- Hybrid Learning Pilot at NMS / NMS: Modellschule für Hybrides Lernen - NMS - Nelson Mandela School, Berlin (nelson-mandela-schule.net)
- Cyber Africa
- Coding Workshop at NMS
- Critical use of media: 5C’s cooperation with the Freie Universität Berlin
Some earlier projects and activities that were posted on the NMS website:
- Wired! Mobile Research Station
- Digital Skills: Cyberbullying Presentation
- Digital Skills WUV Student Video Tutorials
IT/Media Guidelines, Forms, Handbook
- Data Protection Policy Nelson Mandela School (pdf)
- Wire — recommendations for digital communication at the NMS (pdf)
- ICT Acceptable Use Policy and User Agreement (pdf)
- WiFi Configuration for teachers and Upper Secondary students (pdf)
- Mobile Phone Policy (pdf)
- Social Media Guidelines plus Answer Slip for Parents (pdf)
- Communication and Email Guidelines (November 2020) (pdf)
- Online and Blended Learning Handbook 2020 (pdf)
- Workspace info and forms in English PDF
- Workspace info and forms in German PDF
IT & Media Development Group
Our school has made significant progress in the past years when it comes to IT availability and use in the classroom. Much remains to be done, however. Developments are coordinated by the IT Development Group in which teachers, administrators and parents jointly participate to research, write, implement and evaluate a working technology plan for the school.
The IT Development Group, after discussion with other stakeholders, has also written an Acceptable Use Policy document that contains guidelines and rules for IT use within the school. Additionally, for years 7-10, a Mobile Phone Policy has been created by a Parent Council Round Table, followed up by a collaboration between students, parents and teachers. It has been signed off by the staff and the school conference. We also created Social Media Guidelines for upper Primary and Middle School, besides the other existing guidelines mentioned above. In 2020, the IT/media development group, in close cooperation with the school management, introduced the school learning platform Workspace and created the online learning handbook. Other activities include staff development, school development, surveys, information and exchange on online resources. The IT Development Group can be reached collectively via
The IT & Media Development group is chaired by Department Head of IT & Media Annemieke Akkermans (annemieke(dot)akkermans(at)nelson-mandela-schule.net).
Check out the NMS COOL TOOL page – a collection of useful and exciting tools for teachers and students. Another collection of more recent tools for online schoolscan be found on the Padlet that was created during the first pandemic-related school closure..
The IT Team consists of six school staff members and is the school-internal executive part of the IT/Media Development Group. Since 2019 the IT Team has been very active in the development of blended learning, peer coaching, improvement and planning of the school's digital infrastructure, installation and development of the school's LMS (see info below under G-Suite) and Digital Pakt assessing and ordering.
Jospeh Thurai, IT Coordinator
The IT coordinator at our school is Joseph Thurai. He is responsible for the installation and maintenance of all IT hardware and software at the two campuses of the Nelson Mandela School. Joseph's hard work in the past years has moved NMS forward in terms of technology in our classrooms. Joseph can be contacted via the school's offices or via
Nicholas Ralph, NMS Postmaster
Staff members, please contact Nic to get the login info for your school email account and for the creation of subject groups (only upon application by the department head).
Learning Platform and other tools
Classroom & Workspace Education Information and Consent
During the extended Corona lockdown in 2020 NMS was quickly and successfully able to rollout Classroom and G-Suite to provide NMS kids with distance virtual learning. This was warmly received by the NMS community.
The vast majority of the NMS community has expressed the wish to continue to learn and teach with 'Classroom' as a learning platform for contemporary education. Therefore, starting this school year, NMS is making this platform available for students and teachers.
In close cooperation with the district's privacy officer NMS has implemented the following at the start of school year20/21:
- Purchase of G-Suite Education Enterprise licence, so all data is guaranteed to remain on servers within the EU
- Creation of pseudonymised student accounts
- Certified training for NMS employees
- 1/2 study day on the topic of 'hybrid learning' with the learning platform Classroom for teaching staff
The upgraded and improved service allowed NMS students and teachers to successfully learn online during the pandemic related school closures. In 2021, G-Suite was renamed 'Workspace'. The Workspace apps Classroom, Meet, Docs, Sheets, Forms, Sites, Calendar and Mail have been familiar tools for all students and teachers since March 2020.
Parental consent is necessary for students to use this, the forms can be found here and on the Forms page. Signed consent forms need to be returned to the class teachers and tutors. The forms will be kept in the respective student files.
As teachers and administrators, we deal with personal data on a regular basis, NMS has taken the step of using Wire, with the financial support of the Friends of Nelson Mandela School (the Förderverein). Wire is one of the very few secure messenger services in Europe as it is fully GDPR compliant, has end-to-end encryption and keeps its servers in Europe. This means that student and other sensitive data is secured during communication and storage and cannot be accessed for non-school purposes. While this may mean an extra step for communication, it also means that this extra work keeps our information safer and more secure. The school keeps using its regular mail for all general organisational and curricular data traffic.
Good information on media literacy (Media education as it is called in Germany) can be found on www.digizen.org and https://www.commonsense.org/education/ (in English). More information and resources in German can be found on Rahmenlehrplan Online. Relevant booklets and info-magazines in German can be ordered free of charge (or for a very small fee) from Klicksafe or downloaded directly from Klicksafe here.
- Common Sense Digital Citizenship Curriculum
- The Pokémon Go! phenomenon by Annemieke Akkermans
NMS has an eSafety label in silver. In 2019 NMS scored especially high on infrastructure, policy and practice. The eSafety label is an initiative by European Schoolnet, a network of 31 European Ministries of Education.