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Cloud Services Thread, Getting to grips with Sharepoint 2013 in Technical; We've just had the online versions of Office 365 and Sharepoint 2013 made available to us. I'm keen to introduce ...
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    Getting to grips with Sharepoint 2013

    We've just had the online versions of Office 365 and Sharepoint 2013 made available to us. I'm keen to introduce it to the school as an intranet site, internet site and a file sharing platform for staff and students.

    Several of us have looked at the bare bones offered to us alongside a few training videos on youtube. Nevertheless we're finding it really tricky and time consuming to get the ball rolling and have something we can actually use.

    Has anyone else in the schools community made use of Sharepoint 2013? Is it worth the not inconsiderable investment in time and effort?

    If nothing else, what I would really like to achieve is a portal for the ICT department alone, where we can securely store our documents, (including passwords) hard to find drivers, network diagrams etc.

    I'll be glad to hear you comments and suggestions on Sharepoint 2013

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    My experience with Sharepoint 2013 is that initially it was confusing to use and not obvious where to find the options I needed to start creating. I found after a few hours of trial and error this improves and it works quite well as a tool for rapid creation of content spaces to share with others (I have previously spent a lot of time wrestling with Kaleidos so had some familiarity with Sharepoint concepts).

    I had originally envisaged training up teachers here to use Sharepoint 2013 for the same, enabling them to create and manage online content for their pupils but having used it myself I don't think that will be happening now as I am pretty sure most of our teachers do not have the skills or the interest to get to a level of familiarity with it where it will be more of a use than a hassle to them

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    Hi Spadam, thanks for your reply. I think what you're saying pretty much bears out my fears that Sharepoint 2013 is not as inituitive as it ought to be, but worth persevering with.

    It certainly would be nice to have at least a few members of teaching staff wading in and contributing to content, but I can't see that happening, regardless of the system.

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    I think the problem is that there's a lot there for non technical people to get their heads round. Our teachers are used to Office 2007 - anything beyond that and most of them aren't interested enough to invest the time to become competent.

    If you set up some predefined areas and a highly simplified process for them to upload/publish content then it might work but then you are also limiting their potential for creativity and ownership.

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    This is something I looked at quite some time ago, but unfortunately gave up. There's practically no documentation available and it's easily Microsoft's weakest selling point of Office 365. SharePoint 2013 is far too complicated and lacks options to really simplify the interface. I've yet to come across a school using it, who also use Office 365. Maybe Microsoft need to take note of this...

    In an ideal world it would be perfect to allow teachers to upload work for pupils and for pupils to demonstrate their completed work. I know SharePoint can do this sort of thing, but I don't think it's possible with the Office 365 offering, but more so the full version of SharePoint. All that's needed is more tools and more templates to make it child friendly.

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