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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Microsoft Sharepoint - what is it? in Technical; Originally Posted by witch Sorry - stupid question from here - if he already has Moodle, why would he need ...
  1. #16
    NewOrder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    Sorry - stupid question from here - if he already has Moodle, why would he need sharepoint?

    A lot of people are using SharePoint as a foundation and on top moodle as the learning environment.

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    NewOrder's Avatar
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    With SharePoint think 64 bit for the future, make sure you have a proper back up and remember its not cheap.

    Some technical training is also worth the investment and even getting somebody to build for you is another consideration. I know schools where the teckie has spent weeks on a problem and half a day from somebody would have sorted it out.

    From some of the questions on the forum its obvious some people should have gone on training courses. The time you waste on getting the setup wrong and doing things incorrectly would have been repaid by investment in training.

    There are lots of good free apps but there are also others that cost.

    Another area often overlooked is staff training and change management. How it works with the curriculum and management of the school.

    Have a look at this 'VLEs make assessment for learning safely social' you can change uniservity and use SharePoint in the sameway for AfL

  3. Thanks to NewOrder from:

    dgsmith (20th June 2009)

  4. #18

    witch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NewOrder View Post
    A lot of people are using SharePoint as a foundation and on top moodle as the learning environment.
    How are they linked together? I think that is what we will want to do in the future (just getting into Moodle ATM)

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    KarlGoddard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    How are they linked together? I think that is what we will want to do in the future (just getting into Moodle ATM)
    You can use webparts: SharePoint Web Parts for Moodle - Home

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    witch (19th June 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by NewOrder View Post

    Some technical training is also worth the investment and even getting somebody to build for you is another consideration. I know schools where the teckie has spent weeks on a problem and half a day from somebody would have sorted it out.

    From some of the questions on the forum its obvious some people should have gone on training courses. The time you waste on getting the setup wrong and doing things incorrectly would have been repaid by investment in training.
    I don't really agree.

    Unless you have a real need in rolling it out quickly, it'd be far more beneficial to read up on, install, configure and test the system yourself - and be able to work at your own pace.

    You'll have a deeper understanding of the systems config - and personally I don't think its that difficult a product to work with, as long as you have the time/drive to spend some time with it.

    Personally I had a test system - then made a full system, rolled out to admin staff - then all teachers - then the whole school.

    It worked fine then, and still is now.

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    dgsmith (20th June 2009)

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    NewOrder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domino View Post
    I don't really agree.

    Unless you have a real need in rolling it out quickly, it'd be far more beneficial to read up on, install, configure and test the system yourself - and be able to work at your own pace.

    You'll have a deeper understanding of the systems config - and personally I don't think its that difficult a product to work with, as long as you have the time/drive to spend some time with it.

    Personally I had a test system - then made a full system, rolled out to admin staff - then all teachers - then the whole school.

    It worked fine then, and still is now.
    Normally a school wants a Learning Platform PDQ. I've seen too many poor SharePoint installs. Yes we can all get the book and configure it but will it be the foundation for the future, is it the best use of time.

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    I've installed it before now and after a few interesting bugs it ran well however I then went on a course for sharepoint an one for SQL now over the summer I'm rebuilding our entire system as there are a few extra things to setup an we'll have an unbelievably versatile system. I think Sharepoint is very good but never as a VLE intergrating it with Moodle and some video streaming server as I've mentioned above would be a very good system.

    Wes

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    Quote Originally Posted by dgsmith View Post
    It sounds like a daft question, but I guess we're a few years behind everyone else. I figure it is used for web sites/intranets etc, the latter of which I am pondering replacing our's with.

    Is this software going to do the job for us if we are just looking to replace our Windows 2000 intranet server (literally just a few html/php web pages) with this? We use moodle for the teaching and VLE side of things, and I was thinking our intranet could be better utilised to serve our vast repository of photo media and growing video media. Is this the right route to be investigating?

    I see that sharepoint services is free; what exactly would we need to pay for to get this running? Is SPS3 sufficient for what we would want to do as described above? I may seem a bit naive but I see this being mentioned quite often and never really caught on to what it actually does and whether we could get use from it. We have a schools agreement which I notice has CALs for sharepoint.
    It's actually a great question people are still getting to grips with as the web continues to develop at lightning pace... what do I want my intranet to do and why?

    I understand advertising is frowned upon here so I won't mention my product but will declare an interest (and say that it's not free). Our focus is on editing web pages easily - exactly where you are coming from mentioning html etc because we think that web pages are a great way of people sharing content and a school wiki can grow incredibly quickly IF it is easy enough to use with your eyes closed. Unlike many CMSs out there (but like Sharepoint) we do integrate fully with the AD so you don't have to manage separate users/groups.

    I realise there are a lot of people on here who have got a lot out of Sharepoint installations, I would just like to raise a few things you should be aware of with it which I think are reasonably uncontroversial - it is free for many schools under Schools Agreement but be aware of the hidden costs - extra training, possible use of consultants to make the most of it and also it is not always the easiest product for end users so extra support for you on the IT side. Sharepoint is also really built as a portal/document workflow manager out of the box rather than a collaborative web tool (I realise there are various addons etc but these aren't really the core of Sharepoint, and the good solutions many people have to these on here may well add cost and/or complexity).

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    dgsmith (20th June 2009), localzuk (20th June 2009)

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    NewOrder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayjayem View Post
    It's actually a great question people are still getting to grips with as the web continues to develop at lightning pace... what do I want my intranet to do and why?

    I understand advertising is frowned upon here so I won't mention my product but will declare an interest (and say that it's not free). Our focus is on editing web pages easily - exactly where you are coming from mentioning html etc because we think that web pages are a great way of people sharing content and a school wiki can grow incredibly quickly IF it is easy enough to use with your eyes closed. Unlike many CMSs out there (but like Sharepoint) we do integrate fully with the AD so you don't have to manage separate users/groups.

    I realise there are a lot of people on here who have got a lot out of Sharepoint installations, I would just like to raise a few things you should be aware of with it which I think are reasonably uncontroversial - it is free for many schools under Schools Agreement but be aware of the hidden costs - extra training, possible use of consultants to make the most of it and also it is not always the easiest product for end users so extra support for you on the IT side. Sharepoint is also really built as a portal/document workflow manager out of the box rather than a collaborative web tool (I realise there are various addons etc but these aren't really the core of Sharepoint, and the good solutions many people have to these on here may well add cost and/or complexity).

    Good point. A lot of us had hoped that Microsoft would have developed SLK and course manager more than they have. When 2003 with Class Server first arrived it was a good start. Then 2007 not bad but SLK was not the improved Class Server replacement that we wanted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jayjayem View Post
    I realise there are a lot of people on here who have got a lot out of Sharepoint installations, I would just like to raise a few things you should be aware of with it which I think are reasonably uncontroversial - it is free for many schools under Schools Agreement but be aware of the hidden costs - extra training, possible use of consultants to make the most of it and also it is not always the easiest product for end users so extra support for you on the IT side. Sharepoint is also really built as a portal/document workflow manager out of the box rather than a collaborative web tool (I realise there are various addons etc but these aren't really the core of Sharepoint, and the good solutions many people have to these on here may well add cost and/or complexity).
    Agreed, it can cause no end of pains if you don't implement it properly. And by implement it properly, I mean roll it out to people properly.

    The way it is handled in our school is that is has been released to all staff as a single purpose tool at present - for using SIMS.net at home. Now that everyone has got used to that, we will start adding extra uses to it, such as using it as a document manager for policy documents (and slowly but surely increase the variety of work that goes on it), next I will be moving our helpdesk to it, and creating a webpart that works with our phone system to create a phonebook.

    All this is a slow and steady plan. If we just released it in one big lump, it would be a nightmare to manage. Letting each part bed in before going on allows people to get used to it, so when issues do occur, they feel comfortable talking between themselves before having to call for help.

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    I think that the original question raised is very useful for getting us to briefly evaluate where we are with SharePoint and why we opted for it in the first place.

    If you want to use SharePoint as your Learning Platform I would urge you to also consider the SharePoint Learning Kit. Moodle is also a great vehicle for the teaching and learning, and perhaps more dynamic day to day aspects of your portal, although there is a new version of SharePOint Learning Kit about to be launched.

    With the integration of Capita's Learning Gateway web parts you will immediately meet the governments 2010 target for online reporting to parents, and provide real time reporting with hardly any extra work in school.

    If you want to see good examples of SharePoint installations in school have a look at


    Technical case study of Blatchington Mill School

    The Kraal (Gallery of school SharePoint installations)

    Twynham School SharePoint

    Hope this helps....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Domino View Post
    I don't really agree.

    Unless you have a real need in rolling it out quickly, it'd be far more beneficial to read up on, install, configure and test the system yourself - and be able to work at your own pace.

    You'll have a deeper understanding of the systems config - and personally I don't think its that difficult a product to work with, as long as you have the time/drive to spend some time with it.

    Personally I had a test system - then made a full system, rolled out to admin staff - then all teachers - then the whole school.

    It worked fine then, and still is now.
    That's pretty much how I deployed it - think I did a test system at home - then created a live system at school which was rolled out to two depts then the whole school.

    I probably spent a total of two full working days, hour wise, over two weeks to implement sharepoint, and I'm definitely not a techies techie.

    I would doubt any school could justify bringing in a consultant for a job as minor, in the greater scope of school priorities, as developing an intranet.

  18. #29
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    Many thanks for all the replies - certainly seems to be alot of views as to how it can be used, all very positive too!

    Still, the consensus is that it is somewhat of a nightmare (or has the potental to be) in setting it up. For us, who if we adopted it, would just want to use it initially for media (photo/video) storage and viewing (maybe expand in the future if all goes well), would these concerns still be applicable? We would have a very basic, primitive if you like, home page with just links to various places and of course the video/photo module.

    What are the best modules/addons for SPS to achieve uploading and storing of photos and videos (similarly to the likes of phpgallery and phpmotion)?
    I guess we're not looking to use it for how it was designed, as someone mentioned, and purely would be relying on addons..

    Lastly, we'll need a new server (current one is a 6yr old Win2000 Svr); can SPS run on WinSvr2008 web edition (which has some limitations)?

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