SharePoint Resource Booking System- video demo

June 29, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: SharePoint, SharePoint 2010 

Having used the SharePoint Resource Booking System at Twynham School for a year now I thought it was time to share this excellent solution. This product has been built by external developers but with Twynham School giving input on the functional needs for a resource booking system that could be used in education. In truth we saw it as a more narrow SharePoint Room Booking System which we would use for booking ICT rooms. It soon became clear that we could use it for a wide variety of resources including hardware, meeting rooms and even mini buses.

Our pevious system was like many used in education to book rooms and resources. Teachers would look online at a spreadsheet of rooms and availability and would then email a request to an administrator who would then update the spreadsheet. This is very tiresome for staff and it can take several hours to confirm if your room is booked. What we needed was a no hassle high speed way to find available rooms and resources and instantly book them. I have put a video demonstration together showing how we use the SharePoint Resource Booking System which can be seen below.

Best watched in HD for clarity

If you would like to have a play with the SharePoint Resource Booking System I am pleased to say a ‘Live Lab’ personal demo is available. Just head along to and set up a demo site where you can check out the functionality of the system.

I have also been given a discount code for any readers who may be interested in purchasing the SharePoint Resource Booking System. Just email the code ‘spedu’ to the email and you can get £200 or $300 of the cost of the solution.

My Site customization for the end user. SharePoint 2010 feature sneak peak.

June 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: SharePoint 2010, Twynham School 

One of the exciting SharePoint 2010 projects we are planning to show at our ‘Creating an effective and highly developed Learning Gateway’ webinar is a customization of My Site we have recently completed. Working with a large school district which serves 150,000 users we were asked to take a look at how My Site within SharePoint 2010 could be more user centric. The was a particularly exciting SharePoint development as the District accepted our idea of allowing staff and student to be able to select skins using a themer within My Site. To do this we built on some of the ideas of our own student council at Twynham School who described their vision of changing between colours and skins in the same way as you can on the BBC website.

This planning led to the commissioning of a series of designs and then we set about adding a theme selector to My Site within SharePoint 2010. The image below shows a sneak peak of the finished work with a simple pink skin and the theme selector open and then a more vibrant purple skin.


During our webinar on 6th July at 2pm EDT/7pm BST we will walk through the whole process of creating this fully customised My Site with in SharePoint 2010. You can sign up to the event at

Using SharePoint 2010 to create a highly developed Learning Gateway for education. Free webinar

Details: Mike Herrity and Dave Coleman will be presenting this webinar live on Wednesday 6th July at 7pm BST/2pm EDT

Sign up:

Many of you will have heard bits of the story of Twynham School and our creation of a well-established learning platform using SharePoint. Through various case studies and presentations at conferences around the world over the last 5 years we have been very fortunate to be able to show our work creating compelling custom applications and engaging students and teachers to gain high user adoption. We have had quite a break from presenting and writing up our work for nearly a year and so we thought it might be useful to put a free webinar on to show you some of the new and exciting things we have done with our learning platform, SharePoint 2010.

What’s new with Twynham School SharePoint 2010-11

In this webinar we will take you through our initial work creating a highly developed Learning Gateway from 2007-10. In the second half of the session we will break out into new code the team has written which has not been shown to anyone yet. This includes:

  • ·         A whole new ‘My Site’ development with custom skins which allow the user to create a themed environment.
  • ·         A fully searchable SharePoint Knowledge Base for end users, admins and developers to support them working with SharePoint 2010.
  • ·         A CPD (Continuous Professional Development) system which removes the paper chase from work requests.
  • ·         SharePoint Rewards system which enables teachers to instantly award points to students who can see their scores in real time.

MetaVis have been very kind in supporting us with their webinar system so please do sign up below and we look forward to sharing our new work with you.

Details: Mike Herrity and Dave Coleman will be presenting this webinar live on Wednesday 6th July at 7pm BST/2pm EDT

Sign up:

Cloud Computing with SharePoint 2010 and more. Office 365 brings a rich cloud experience.

October 26, 2010 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Cloud Computing, SharePoint, SharePoint 2010 

It has been an interesting month for talk of Cloud Computing and specifically the availability of Office in the cloud. Microsoft announced a much needed upgrade to its BPOS and Azure offerings by launching Office 365. Using Microsoft’s extensive data centres Office 365 will bring together 4 key pillars of Microsoft’s productivity and communication tools in Office, SharePoint, Exchange and Lync. Whereas the lack of maturity within current cloud offerings was a barrier to moving resources off site the ‘full fat’ nature of Office 365 is likely to represent a big change from the view that hardware must always be on premise.

Check out the video below which gives a 5 minute overview of Office 365

Are schools likely to be moving to the cloud with all services in the near future? At a meeting I attended last week opinion amongst Network Managers was divided with a number needing to see the level of functionality available off site before commiting. Of course the greatest concern remains the quality of broadband connection into the school. As this hopefully improves we are likely to see a big move to the cloud over the next 3-5 years.

New SharePoint 2010 features for education. SharePoint School Reward System part 5.

Over the last few days we have looked at how different members of the school community view AA (reward point) data which is relevant to their needs within SharePoint 2010. You can catch up on the first 4 parts of this series below:

  1. Part 1 Awarding individual reward points to students you teach.
  2. Part 2 Awarding individual reward points to students you do not teach.
  3. Part 3 The Head of Year View of year group AAs.
  4. Part 4 The Tutor View of tutor group AAs.

In this section we are going to look at how students view their AA totals and the breakdown by subjects. The two elements of the student view can be seen on the right side of the Student home page below.

Student have a personal thermometer for their AAs with the red filling up as students get more AAs- this can be seen in detail below.

In addition to this students can see a breakdown of AAs by subject in the table shown below.

I hope you found this series useful as a way of seeing how other schools are taking their reward systems online. One interesting decision we made within our build was to move away from the obsession with integrating everything into the MIS. Our view was that there will be an increasing move towards data being stored within the learning platform and not relying on a ever more bloated MIS.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this solution if you have been following the series. Drop me an email or on twitter @mikeherrity

New SharePoint 2010 features for education. SharePoint School Reward System part 4.

In the last session we looked at viewing of AAs (reward points) for Heads of Year and Senior Leaders in SharePoint 2010 so that they could see the year group overviews. This can be seen on the right side of the image below. On the left side of the page below you can see an area called Tutor Group Overview.

By selecting the drop down on the left side this brings up individual students with their overall totals. Using this tutors can identify where individual students are under performing with their reward totals and intervene. It can therefore be used as an early warning system of students who are now working at their full potential.

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