SharePoint Development

I’m starting to think about and get things in place ready for September and a key part of this is the way we use SharePoint as a faculty.

We really want to try and use SharePoint in a creative and effective way to reflect the creative nature of the faculty.  We have done some work with this already but we have a bit more time now to refine our approach and really think carefully about a) how the technology should be used for our needs b) how to make the technology accessible for all (staff & students) and c) how to make the design exciting and SharePoint a place you want to visit.

We wanted SharePoint to have a visual and dynamic feel for the students.  Looking back to last year there are a number of areas that we want to embed within SharePoint for 2016.

  1. Home Learning – Set Home Learning through individual calendars for each Key Stage direct in the students ‘digital hub’.
  2. Interactive Resources – Embedded video
  3. Sway – Art project Sways embedded into SharePoint
  4. Download Resources – Students able to download files and see screen shots of files – Move away from a list/file approach
  5. Links – To Internet sites explicitly linked to the art projects and our Creative Arts Flickr site.
  6. Parental Engagement – We are looking to develop how we engage parents/guardians and SharePoint is a fantastic tool to do this as it is accessible 24/7.

Art Hubs 1

We have designed the following pages and the plan was to create a central ‘digital hub’ for art students to visit to get them used to navigating in SharePoint (above image).  We have a featured artist profiled Kevin Peterson and we can change and add different artists over the course of the year.  The page also has an Art Department Update feed in which we can suggest new exhibitions to visit, workshops taking place after-school etc.

From this hub students and parents currently have 3 options –

  1. Key Stage 3 – Year 7 and Year 8 students (11-13 age group)
  2. Key Stage 4 – Year 9, Year 10 and Year 11 GCSE students (13-16 age group)
  3. Art HAL – An area for Art High Ability Learners (the previous UK Gifted & Talented programme)

Within each hub students have access to their own personalised resources –

  • Home Learning Tasks set through an embedded calendar.  All staff can update, track and set Home Work.  Also helps set work for absent students.
  • Sway presentations.  Complete art projects created in Sway and used in every lesson by staff.  The Sway is embedded direct into the SharePoint Hub so staff just need to open up the hub to access them.  This way students are familiar with the SharePoint hub and they can show people at home what they are learning and even make a head start.  I would like to see how this helps with a flipped learning approach.
  • Literacy, Creative Journey and Tracking Progress Guides.  Resources to back up and re-enforce what we teach in lessons in regards to the creative journey and how the students artwork links to the AQA Assessment Objectives.

Apptex Development

Our brilliant IT technicians have added APPTEX for us to use and design the SharePoint sites.  I am not 100% confident on this yet so will have a play with it but I may have to wait until September to get a bit of help.

The Apptex Designer link from the Microsoft Store is –

Now we are a Surface art department we can photograph current work with the devices and add examples of student work to the resources on SharePoint.  The plan is to use the Surfaces in lessons, walk around the room, digitally project the SharePoint Hub/Sway and to embed this use of technology within our everyday teaching practice.

The aim is to embed technology so it becomes part of and enhances the teachers toolkit and students see the technology as integral to their learning opening up the 4 walls of the classroom.



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