SUGUK: 101 Question before Implementing SharePoint in Education



Last night on the 18th March the SharePoint User Group held their first meeting in Leicester round the Education market space.  It was a great meeting with over 30 people attending asking many questions. 

Richard Willis also presented on SharePoint Learning Kit and the new features in the recent update to 1.4.  You can find more on Richard on his blog at and SharePoint Learning Kit can be downloaded here

I spent the hour asking 101 questions that will help you both to install SharePoint from an IT Pro all the way through to how would you gather information to upload for staff, pupil and parents to access.  We asked questions on day to day operations and on going training.

If you were up able to attend you can still see the question from the presentation slide that I have uploaded to SlideShare.

Speaking at SharePoint User Group: Education


Just a quick post to let everyone know I will be talking about SharePoint in Education at the next Midlands SharePoint User Group on 18th March 2010.

101 Questions before Implementing SharePoint into Education
Questions that can be asked both from a technical and end user adoption point of view. Have you got everything you need for your SharePoint or having trouble getting all your staff and students on board? Maybe its just one of these questions and answers, that you need for your own school that will drive you adoption through the roof.

Please register here

My Top 5 User Adoption Tips, SUGUK, 10th September


Thanks to every who attended the SharePoint User Group in Nottingham on Thursday.  It was the first time I had done this talk so I hope you found it useful.

Here are few of the points that I talked about

Building a custom CSS or master page is a key part of your portal.  So end users can recognize that it is your portal.  The standard blue can be a bit boring as well and as IT Pro and Dev’s we can get a bit bored with the blue.

I recommended a blog post that would help in building your own CSS.  Click here to visit Heather Solomon’s blog with all the CSS references.

Another tip I showed was from again from Heather Solomon’s blog where you can activate multi drop down menu in your navigation.  Visit this page to find out how. 

I recommended surveys as an informal way of getting your users onto your site.  Think about ways you could get your users onto your site, RSS, images from the summer or Christmas party.  This will draw your users to your site and then they will start looking at what else they can do.

I’ve posted my slides on slideshare here

SharePoint User Group UK: B'ham – Future Topics


Thanks to everyone who attended last night.

It was my first involvement standing at the front of a SUGUK event and I really enjoyed it.  Thanks to Steve for inviting me to join him at the front.  Thanks also to Andrew Woodward for jumping in at the end to help answer some of the question.  Andrew blogs over at if you don't read his blog already.

Here are a few links from last night

Nintex –

Fab 40 Site Templates –

Fab 40 demo site –

European Best Practise Conference –

As we discussed at the end here is a list that came from the meeting about possible future topics

  • Sliverlight in SharePoint
  • Top 5 User Adoption – continuing where we left off
  • Forms – InfoPath
  • Search
  • Site usage
  • Vendor night
  • Database management for SharePoint
  • Farm management
  • SSP
  • Powershell – the next step
  • Data View WebPart
  • Content Editor WebPart
  • Content Viewer
  • Branding
  • When and when not to use CSS
  • Accessiblity
  • Security
  • AD Groups or SharePoint Groups

Please leave comments at the bottom of this post if you want to add anything else to the list.

Thanks again for attending last night


Handheld Learning Awards and SUGUK


This last week I’ve done a bit of travelling to London.  I love London with its underground, fast pace, culture and buzz and I feel like I’m at home there when I get off the train from Birmingham.

On Monday night I was invited down to the Handheld Learning Awards where many education organisations won awards for their use of handheld devices in the classroom and at home.  I would like to congratulate all those schools and universities who won and hope that other schools can get involved in these technology.

Staying on the subject of handheld/mobile learning I’m excited about a few projects I’ve heard of closer to home including my Mums school who have just brought 180 Asus EEEs for her Year 5 (9/10 year olds) to be used at school and at home.  I’m looking forward to seeing these in action when I get to visit.  At my own school my boss ordered 20 Playstation Portalables PSPs for use in lessons.  The kids aren’t playing games on the device but we have brought the PSP camera (GoCam) that fits top and you can take both stills and videos.  The staff love taking these into lessons as it really gets the kids involved in e-learning making vidcasts and then uploading them to the Learning Gateway (SharePoint).

Thursday I was back in London for the SharePoint User Group UK meeting.  I try and attend as many of these as I can as it really does boost my knowledge of the product but also gives me some great ideas for applications for education.  There were well over 100 people there.  Thanks to Riaz and Chris for their presentations and thanks to Nick and Steve who organise and run these events.  The next one is in Birmingham – at last one in my home city – but I can’t make it 🙁

I would highly recommend you attend your local group.  Find your local user group for this link.

Specialist SharePoint Education Forum


Are you working in the SharePoint edcuation field, want to help others, make suggestions, develop ideas, general discuss anything…?

Well Andrew Woodward is leading on creating a forum and has now set one up on over at SUGUK (SharePoint User Group UK).  I’ll be helping to create some useful tools and documents as well.

Go have a look, get involved, share your ideas and help others.

SUGUK Educational Forum

Andrew Woodward’s Blog