GCSE Online Options in SharePoint part 3 of 3

December 8, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Parental Engagement, SharePoint, Twynham School 

In the last of this three part series I look at the power of our SharePoint development for admins. With version 3 of our Online Options site any administrator can edit the complete site including upload of streaming video with complete ease. Check out the video below for a full demo.

This video is best viewed in High Quality

GCSE Online Options in SharePoint part 2 of 3

In part 2 of this series I delve into the subject section of the GCSE Online Options site. This area contains all the information students and parents need about individual subjects to make decisions. The video takes you through a slick interface to move between core information to more detail and rich media in the form of video.

This video is best viewed in High Quality to see the detail

GCSE Online Options in SharePoint part 1 of 3

As promised throughout this week I wanted to show a number of videos with new resources and tools which we have been working on at Twynham School. The first is our GCSE Online Options system which we use with students in Year 9 and their parents. A brief overview of the site is shown below.

Best viewed in High Quality!

Later today I will cover the real meat of the site- the subject sections which students review to make their options.

Online Reporting to Parents licensing in SharePoint

July 9, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: SharePoint 

Yesterday I started a new theme looking at Online Reporting to Parents using SharePoint. If you haven’t read my previous article it makes sense to pick it up here first before reading this one.  In my role as a SharePoint Consultant I have been to over 100 schools this year and many of them are looking to setup SharePoint or extend it by offering access to parents and Online Reporting. By far the biggest question and confusion surrounding this is the issue of CALs or Client Access Licenses and the External Connector License. Many schools have been advised that they will need to purchase additional CALs and pay for an External Connector License when they provide logins to parents. At the same time some schools have been told that this is not necessary.

Clarification from Microsoft

I have asked Microsoft for clarification with this issue and Ray Fleming has responded with a blog within 24 hours of my question (thanks Ray) clearing it all up. Rather than repeating what he has said it makes sense to simply ask you to click here to read the post.

Preparing your Learning Platform for Parental Engagement

March 16, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Online Reporting, Twynham School 

As promised I would like to spend this week talking about all things Parent and in particular the use of learning environments in Parental Engagement. Twynham School has spent 18 months working on a Parent Gateway and carefully rolling out a process to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our parents. Our work on parental engagement started in October 2007 when we first thought about involving our Parents in the Gateway we had created. Our first and most important task was to meet with parents to find out what they would use the Gateway for. Remember this is the same process we used with students and it is always essential to start any development with the end user first. Here is what our Parent Gateway home page looks like.


Parent Gateway- click to enlarge

Parent Gateway- click to enlarge

We have started with a fairly simplistic interface at the beginning and plan to gradually grow functionality in the next 18 months. The key is to start with core information which is useful to the majority of parents. For our Parents Focus Group newsletters, school visits and extra curricular information were the most pressing needs.

Extra Curricular Activities- click to enlarge

Extra Curricular Activities- click to enlarge

PE Fixture List

PE Fixture List

When this was completed we needed to think about setting up and testing the environment with a small group of parents. Because we planned to share data about students to their parents we started our test with members of staff who had children in the school. This allowed us to ensure that the right data was being pulled through to the correct parents before rolling out to ‘external’ parents. After 2 months of testing we then rolled out to our 50 mentoring group parents last January. We now have over 600 parents who have signed up to the Parent Gateway and will have all parents online by this September.