Schiphol Airport Amsterdam


Maurice Bernaards and Michel Sneekes both work at House of Aviation: Schiphol’s learning hub. In addition to being a teacher, Maurice is also an internship coordinator, Michel is a teacher, internship coordinator and examiner. Both come from the aviation world where Michel worked for many years in various positions within ground operations, while Maurice held various management positions.

Via a detour they ended up at House of Aviation and here students, teachers and employees of companies develop education together. The way they do this is to put new means of education directly into practice and consider technological, social and economic innovations which are key.

The Story

Oddly enough, Michel is Maurice’s old internship coordinator. “I went to school here and after continuing my studies, I ended up at ground operations through my internship. Eventually, I could cope with the day and night shifts and I just wanted a 9-to-5 job. The things I can do here are right up my alley.” Michel comes from a family of teachers. “After my VWO, I didn’t immediately know what I wanted to do next. Because of my family and being advised by a teacher, working in education has always been in the back of my mind. But I started doing something else first and eventually, this came my way. Everything comes together in this job because previously I gave business training and of course come from an aviation background.”

The fact that Michel and Maurice know each other is not surprising in this sector. Michel: “The world of operations is very small. We always tell our students that, because you have to realize that. The lines are very short, it’s really like knows like.”

The Challenge

Where the challenges are in the job is clear. Michel: “We always complained about the fact that we lost the interns when they went on an internship which was a four or five months period. And that makes sense because they work, they are not so focused on school. But  contact with the students is very important.” Maurice continues: “Only towards the end of the internship we see the assignments because the internship report was submitted a week before it ended.”

Why chose Airoc?

A number of workshops were organised, one was given by Martin. “We already had those internships in our heads. We had to do something with that,” says Michel. “We had far too little contact and too little overview. I saw something about internships at Martin’s workshop and signed up. After a few minutes I contacted Maurice, because what Martin was talking about was exactly what we were looking for.”

Michel and Maurice had not heard of Airoc before, but decided to send another message that same evening.

How Airoc responded

An appointment was made immediately. Maurice says with great enthusiasm: “A month later we had the first version of Airoc running.” This made House of Aviation one of the first major customers. “We wanted to tackle and use it straight away,” he continued. That was no problem and Airoc was rolled out in small steps.

“We started with just the registrations of student hours,” Michel explains. “That was also possible in another system, but Airoc was easier to use.” Maurice explains that some changes have been made. “We often sat down with Elise and Martin to discuss things and they heard us, which is very nice. They are always very interested in what we think and want. For example, we wanted to make it easier for students to register their hours and we also wanted the ability to monitor those hours. Gradually, more and more possibilities were added and it became easier and easier.”

After the use of the hours registration, this year the assignments are used for the first time.  “For us, it’s still sometimes a matter of figuring out how to read things, or how to judge things,” Maurice admits. “In August we had an extended training where we had a really good look at how things are working with regards to the assignments. What you can do with them, how you add, update, view and assess the assignments. For example, I have all the admin rights, so I have full use of the system. Recently I accidentally took away all rights from myself and called Airoc support right away. Airoc had a blast!,” he says with a smile. “We are now discovering how it really works and what is possible and then you start to like it more and more”, Michel adds.

The results

After the initial pilot version where the focus was on student hours, this year Airoc is now in full use for the first time.”The first assignments are coming in,” says Maurice. “It’s all much faster than over the phone. And the reactions are very positive, everybody responds to it very easily. They are also finding out more and more about the possibilities and see that it’s fun to work with. It is very positively received,” he adds.

“Students are much more relaxed. When I look at the group that now uses Airoc and that didn’t last year, you notice the difference,” Michel explains. “It is also more pleasant for the student to work with. No more assignments on paper, or documenting something on your laptop. With Airoc everything is done with your mobile phone: photos, videos, text. In addition, all students like to work with mobile phones.”

According to Maurice and Michel, preparation and taking small steps is important in the successful roll-out of Airoc. Michel: “In the front end we do our preparations so we can clearly explain, this is the app you need and this is how it works”.

The more everyone is becoming comfortable with it, the more possibilities. “At the start of the school year, we arranged a kind of scavenger hunt at the airport for the students,” Michel continues. “The things they needed to look for were put in the app. For example, they had to send a piece of text, a photo or a puzzle. That’s how they immediately got used to working with the app.”

Airoc is extremely user-friendly and simple, Maurice explains. “After that training, we found that out even more and because of that you get more and more creative. That’s fun for the students, but also for us.”

Due to the enthusiasm about Airoc, there are clear plans for the future. “If this goes well, the entire school year will be activated in January. That’s step one. The second step is to add the aptitude test. Ultimately we also want things that we cannot see at Schiphol right now but that need to be documented, run via the Airoc app.”

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