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Web Development Thread, School Intranets - Discussion of ideas in Coding and Web Development; Hi all, This is just a thread to communicate and discuss ideas regarding School Intranets. I am sure some of ...
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    SovietRussia's Avatar
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    School Intranets - Discussion of ideas

    Hi all,

    This is just a thread to communicate and discuss ideas regarding School Intranets. I am sure some of you around EduGeek will have seen ours but we are always looking to improve it with more features etc.

    What sort of thing does everyone else have on their intranets? Provide screenshots if you wish.


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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    We're a bit of an odd school in that we don't have an IT dept. run Intranet.

    However, as Data Manager (with a keen interest in IT) I have developed an Intranet of sorts specifically for the school's data. I can't provide screenshots for obvious reasons, but it includes a digital version of the OFSTED recommended "war room" (I'm struggling to find the OFSTED document detailing this but it's essentially a display of student's current performance measures grouped by key cohorts, with photos). This was written in C#/ASP.NET, simply because I hadn't used them before and wanted to give them a try. It pulls all it's data from SIMS to it's own SQL DB nightly.

    I also have a traffic lights on the homepage showing the status of key services, such as SISRA, our school website, email and SIMS (simply pings internal servers or checks the HTTP header of external websites, displays green if OK, amber if the ping time is excessive or header is anything but OK, and red if it fails to communicate)

    Finally, it has a link to my helpdesk (used for requesting changes to student details or reporting problems with SIMS)

    I plan to expand it as I'm slowly rewriting the various Access DBs I have to run on ASP.NET, just a selection of analysis tools I developed to help me over the years that are now being opened up to the rest of the school (I really need to hurry up with this, Access is fine for a single user but quickly becomes a nightmare when others start using it! The backend is already in SQL but I need to rewrite the front end for each Access program)

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    unixman_again's Avatar
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    Here's ours Portal.png

    Actually it's the original design and there are a couple of more dropdown menus, so the top bar now says
    • Staff Portal - link to portal page
    • College Website - link to the public facing website
    • Information - email, registers, moodle, staff/student directory
    • Communications - staff handbook, procedures, newsletters, minutes of staff meeting, etc
    • Documentation - logos, letterheads, forms, etc
    • Useful links - links to video server, photo server, mail archive server, etc
    • IT Services - link to the IT Services homepage (helpdesk, equipment info, self help, etc)
    • Estates - link to the Estates homepage (helpdesk, maps, forms, etc)
    • Library - link to the Library homepage (catalogue, opening hours, resources, etc)

    The four boxes are completed by several members of staff with different levels of ability, so we went for an LCD approach. They edit the appropriate M$Word document, save it and then save it again as html. The specific directory should have about 15 files (the doc & html for each box, a blank template, a set of instructions and a couple of others). Seeing as they can't even follow basic instructions, there are hundreds of files in there. Several think it's OK to save the doc file to their desktop, and wonder why their changes are lost. I truly despair! Each box is supposed to have a light blue background, to maintain the theme and since the implementation two years ago, it has stayed. Just lately however, one of the maintainers has started loosing the colour, something she managed to retain since it's inception, and a couple of days ago she phoned to say that she had made an update and even though she had repeatedly pressed F5, they weren't showing. "Yes", she said, "I have saved the 'web page filtered' in the correct directory". Shame she didn't use the correct file name!

    Originally, this was implemented in Sharepoint, which is why we went for the "idiot proof" method of update. I predicted that there would be chaos, with the editors not understanding check out/check in, having trouble with the SP interface and generally buggering it up. It worked OKish in SP, but the boxes had horizontal and vertical scroll bars and were a pain to read. We've now moved it to Joomla, and although the scroll bars remain, I've added a lightbox dodad to each box, so that you can read them properly.

    When a staff member logs on, it opens automatically. This may not be a good idea, especially if they are using an interactive whiteboard but it's what the principal wanted. We have a student portal too, which pops up when they logon. It has links to email, moodle, student support, the student union, the student magazine, careers, etc. Both are secured with shibboleth, so if you access it from outside of the college, you have to enter your username and password. Staff can access the student portal but not vv.

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    glennda's Avatar
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    I added a noticeboard driven from SQL at my last place with a simple submit page - was used heavily.

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