New SharePoint 2010 features for education. SharePoint School Calender part 2- editing

September 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Best of Breed Products 

Yesterday I showed our SharePoint 2010 School Calendar which helps simplify communication of all key school dates within a large educational institution. Today I wanted to show how easy it is to edit the calendar using the out of the box SharePoint functionality. On the Learning Gateway the calendar can be seen by any administrator with a series of tabs (see below). These allow the user to enter assemblies, activities, assessment schedules, meetings and planned staff absence from school.

By selecting one of the tabs the administrator will be faced with a very simple editing box which appears in browser and can be seen below.

Details can be quickly inputted into the form and appear immediately in the calendar within the correct category. Although this is a very simple SharePoint solution its impact on a large school is enormous. This ability to access constantly changing information is also enhanced with additions to the calendar showing in red when added after the 1st September.

New SharePoint 2010 features for education. SharePoint School Calender part 1

One of the most irritating uses of SharePoint I have seen in education has happened at my very own school for the last 4 years. Each summer we start to put a calendar together in a word document for all the key events and activities in the school year. When this is compiled we put it in a document library which is not what SharePoint was meant for! As a result every time somebody wanted to check a date they would go to the staff home page, click through to shared documents and open the word document. The main reason this happened was the out of the box SharePoint calendar did not meet the complex needs of the school. That is at least until now!

Our development team have been busy treading one of the most important lines in SharePoint development: building something that is customised so that it is fit for purpose whilst at the same time utilising and maintaining the out of the box features so that the solution is transferable to other schools. The result can be seen in our homepage below.

Zooming in you can see our school ‘week to view’ calendar which contains columns showing all the key information which is part of making a busy 1600 school run smoothly. Although this may all look like madness from outside of the school it gives a simple and instant way to view key information directly from the home page. The beauty of the solution is the view shown below can be easily altered for another school whilst maintaining the back end SharePoint functionality.

What if you want to see beyond the next week to look at future dates and events? Simply click on the calendar icon in the icon bar and you instantly see full school year.

The image above shows the whole school year view with an option to select individual months. We launched the calendar at the start of September and it has already proved to be one of those solutions which is not flashy but at the same time has a big impact on an institution.

Tomorrow I will cover how you create, edit and ammend the calendar using basic SharePoint functionality.