In the first of this three-part series we discussed how SharePoint can be used to foster a digital community in your school district that will allow faculty members across schools to share ideas, connect and most importantly collaborate on their work. We also touched on the importance of collaboration, with the Common Core State Standards now in full effect, that will help teachers better navigate this new road ahead (you can find part one of this series ).
Now that we understand the end goal of SharePoint implementation as a means of efficient collaboration between faculty members and school administrators, we can begin to delve deeper into the practical use of the back-end system.
On a day-to-day basis, teachers are responsible for creating the bulk of the content upon which their students rely. There is a common misconception that many teachers are just there to help students navigate their way through a text book, but the antithesis is true. On a given day a teacher can be responsible for creating:
- Tests, quizzes and exams
- Homework assignments
- Supplemental materials like worksheets
- Lesson plans
- PowerPoint presentations
- Schedules and working calendars
And that just scratches the surface. As such, without a system like Microsoft SharePoint in place, this created content sits in a silo in a small scale CMS at one school, incapable of being easily shared and adjusted. More so, if the school in which this teacher works at doesn’t have a CMS in place, the education collateral may end up residing on the teacher’s personal computer.
With SharePoint implementation, schools and districts can create a space in which every teacher across all schools has a place to aggregate, store and disseminate content. School administrators can manage access to the content placed on the SharePoint system—allowing all faculty to access one group of files while only permitting administrators to be able to access others.
Since SharePoint runs in the backend and is integrated with Microsoft’s office suite, learning how to store items on the system is easy and intuitive, making for an easier learning curve for veteran teachers who may have years of experience with teaching, but not with technology.
As students get more hands on use with technology thanks to the Common Core State Standards, teachers can even create a site through SharePoint in which students can submit their work, while still keeping their access restricted from other areas of the platform.
Finally, with one central location housing all of your districts content, physical boarders will no longer hinder creativity, collaboration and innovation.
Stay tuned as we continue with this series and examine how SharePoint helps keep the heaping mounds of content you’ve stored organized through intuitive search functions in Part 3.