Press releases | Education 09.07.2014

Digital media for good teaching – Cooperation between Siemens Stiftung and Bavarian Kultusministerium (Ministry of Education)

Bavaria's Minister of Education Dr. Ludwig Spaenle and Dr. Nathalie von Siemens signed the cooperation agreement

Teachers in Bavaria can now use around 4,000 of the total of 4,800 teaching materials created by educators from Siemens Stiftung's media portal on the online platform "mebis – Landesmedienzentrum Bayern" (State Media Center of Bavaria). Students can also access selected media. That is possible thanks to the cooperation agreement signed today by Bavaria's Minister of Education Dr. Ludwig Spaenle and Dr. Nathalie von Siemens, Speaker of the Board of Siemens Stiftung. The two cooperation partners are united by the goal of further improving the teaching quality through the sensible use of digital media. The mebis Mediathek provides Bavarian schools with high-quality digital education media for teaching and exercises which do not infringe copyrights or licenses. With its media portal, Siemens Stiftung has been committed for the past five years to inspiring students for scientific subjects with true-to-life, interactive media.

"Teaching media literacy is a key mission at Bavarian schools," stressed Minister Spaenle. "With the offerings of the online platform, we support teachers in helping our schoolchildren acquire expertise in using modern media and integrating digital media in their lessons." Teachers can select suitable media from the extensive mebis Mediathek at a click of the mouse and use them in lessons. "We have been able to acquire another strong cooperation partner for expanding the Mediathek in the shape of Siemens Stiftung, with the result that around 14,000 materials are now available there," said the delighted minister.

The media portal team of Siemens Stiftung is also tackling the question of how digital media can be integrated sensibly in teaching. Educators can access materials on a large range of scientific subjects in the portal. Apart from interactive whiteboard contents, charts, worksheets, and videos, there are also educational guides containing tips and ideas for designing lessons or project days. The materials have a differentiated structure, i.e. teachers can support every student individually to suit his or her skills and proficiency.

High-quality, legally compliant teaching materials

The Bavarian Ministry of Education attaches great importance to the quality of the materials that can be called using mebis: All the media are of high quality for teaching, do not infringe copyrights, and are free of commercial interests. Siemens Stiftung's media portal meets those demands thanks to digital materials that have been created by educators and are constantly being updated. Siemens Stiftung also ensures clear and extensive rights of use. Not only the approximately 22,000 educators registered on the media portal, but also the around 47,000 mebis users at 800 schools benefit from that now. The offering will be available to all interested schools in Bavaria by the end of 2016.

"We're delighted at the collaboration with Bavaria's Ministry of Education. Both partners have been committed for years to promoting sensible use of and creating high-quality digital teaching materials. We want to assist teachers with true-to-life, vivid materials in their task of motivating students, thinking ahead and addressing social questions and interconnections," is how Dr. Nathalie von Siemens describes Siemens Stiftung's approach.

Expanded media offerings thanks to metadata transfer

The cooperation is possible thanks to the transfer of metadata. Siemens Stiftung provides mebis with descriptions of the media (metadata). The media themselves remain at the foundation. As soon as students or teachers from Bavaria have found a medium in mebis and wish to download it, their request is automatically passed to the media portal and the medium is made available there. A medium's metadata comprises, for example, the name, subjects, grades, copyright information, and keywords based on content-related and didactic criteria.

Photos of the cooperation agreement are available at and can be downloaded free of charge.

Bavarian State Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs, Science and the Arts
The Bavarian State Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs, Science and the Arts is responsible for the education of young people from elementary school to university, among other things. The ministry pays special attention to promoting individual development with a differentiated and permeable school system and a strong, wide-ranging university landscape.
Promoting media literacy is an interdisciplinary objective in all Bavarian schools. The goal is to teach young people to use media in a responsible, sensible, and reflected manner. The ministry began supporting the sensible use of digital media in teaching in accordance with the individual school's concept for that long ago, for example with the initiative "Digitales Lernen Bayern" (Digital Learning in Bavaria) and innovative projects such as "Referenzschulen für Medienbildung" (Reference Schools for Media Literacy) or the "lernreich 2.0" project.

Siemens Stiftung
Siemens Stiftung operates in the fields of basic services, education, and culture. As a hands-on foundation, we develop our own projects and implement them with a view to the long term. Together with our partners, we aim to help people improve their living conditions. By doing so, we try to empower functioning communities in which people can have a good life. We are committed to international, impact-oriented, and transparent project work. The geographical focus of our work is on regions in Africa and Latin America as well as on Germany and other European countries.
In its working area Education, Siemens Stiftung promotes science and technology education along the entire educational chain. The foundation offers educators training and continuing educational opportunities and provides instructions and experimentation materials which give impulses for lessons that arouse the student’s curiosity and stimulate their autonomous thinking. Knowledge of natural sciences and technical interrelationships, we believe, is an important basis to be able to seize the opportunities of a technological world in a responsible way.