Progress update – Sharepoint

As part of my role, I have been heavily involved with the implementation of Microsoft 365 SharePoint sites at my school. This is looking to overtake Ultranet as our Learning Management System (LMS) next year. After attending a workshop run by Darrel Webster in term 1, I was feeling a bit frustrated about our lack of progress getting Sharepoint up and running. Fast forward a term (and a whole lot of support from Liz Coup at Share the Point) and I am have just rolled out to our curriculum directors a possible sites structure and got some good feedback on how we want our Sharepoint Sites to look.

Essentially we are going to have a three level system. One level for Admin (Oh My Goodness to do schools have a lot of admin), One level for the curriculum teaching documents, and One level for classes.

As I was working through this last night at the meeting, one of the CD’s made a very valid point. We are going to have to change how we view files storage from what it is about, to who do we want to share it with.

For me, this is a non-issue really. Of course tests need to be kept securely, but I don’t mind if people see my appraisal. If everything is at a staff level, then it shouldn’t really matter and we should have trust in our colleagues to do the right thing.

But it is I think going to be the single biggest mindshift for our school and departments to consider. Moving away from the silo’d file storage and into a meta data tagged document. The acceptance that an ‘idea’ or piece of data can be important to more than just one thing, or found relevant to more than one area will take some getting used to for people you are used to following such linear chains. And the idea that ‘their’ resource actually might not be ‘theirs’ – so bridging that collaboration gap will be a wee bit of a challenge too.

But even the realisation of this is a help to me in planning how I am going to help people get the hang of our new system. I am so used to the idea (or perhaps it is just how my brain works) that a spider web of files is way easier than a linear progression that I do need to take more care to introduce this idea to staff.

So all I achieved in real time was to show the CD’s their new sharepoint curriculum sites, and how to upload some documents into those spaces, and use the tags the amazing Liz helped use get set up. Because obviously it takes more than one go to do such things, I made a wee office mix when I got home to help everyone get their head around it so they can have a play.

Excuse the sound – I made a rookie mistake and forgot to select my head set mic, so you can here my todler in the background 🙂 And here is the link, in case the embed doesn’t work 🙂

The next step is to work round each curriculum area and support them to add the pages and subsites they need for their particular needs. Sadly, each area is different, so we will need to do some tweaking. Then hopefully we can get some groups set up on active directories and invite them in, and we will be away laughing.

So definite progress on the Sharepoint front. And again, a massive thanks to Liz from Share the Point – hopefully I can take it from here without too many frantic phone calls.

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