Category Archives: Education News

Education Industry News from Tony Phillips

How to embed a Twitter widget on a SharePoint page

Many schools and businesses are using twitter as a social communication platform to send out news and information to users. How to embed twitter feeds on SharePoint intranets and public sites has been a popular question recently so thought I would share with you how it is done. I’ve also created a video guide on YouTube to talk through the process.

First login to your twitter account in a browser on a desktop computer (it doesn’t have to be the same account as the one that you want to display in your widget).

Click on your profile picture in the top right of the screen and select “Settings” from the drop down menu.

Twitter

Select “Widgets” from the left side menu.

Twitter

Create a new widget.

Twitter

Choose your design and configuration. More options are available via the customisation documentation link on the page. Click “Create Widget” to generate the code.

Twitter

Copy and paste the code into a Script Editor web part. The Script Editor web part can be found under the “Media and Content” category.

Twitter

I go through the process in more detail in the video below. Hope you find it useful. For SharePoint support and consultancy please contact me at Cloud Design Box.



Class site templates in SharePoint

As part of my work for Cloud Design Box, I have been working on class templates for student and teacher collaboration in SharePoint. My templates are using lots of display templates and are provisioned automatically from MIS data using the Salamander provisioning tools. Each template combines, out-of-the-box lists and libraries with custom content types, search web parts and JavaScript display templates. It’s available in both SharePoint on-premises and SharePoint Online. The video below goes through some of the features available for the class sites. Each class template is customised on a per school basis with a responsive design so that it will work on all devices.

For more information or an online demo, contact me by clicking here.



Troubleshooting “this site has not been shared with you”

I’m often asked to solve permission errors in SharePoint. It’s not hard to do with the tools available in SharePoint, you don’t even have to know much about AD especially if you use SharePoint groups.

Ways to permission a SharePoint site:

  • Permission directly against the user – not recommended as a lot of maintenance required when someone joins or leaves the organisation.
  • Use SharePoint Groups – SharePoint groups allow you to manage users within the SharePoint interface, they can be reused all over the site collection
  • Active Directory Security Groups – AD groups might already exist on your domain, these can be used but be aware that SharePoint 2013 caches the membership of these groups for around 2 hours and when using Office 365, DirSync will need to run to replicate these groups in the cloud.

What can be permissioned in SharePoint?

  • Sites – entire subsites
  • Lists – individual lists and libraries such as a document library
  • Folders – folders within a library
  • Items – items within a list or library

SharePoint permissions flow down the site from the root of the site collection unless otherwise changed. If permissions are changed at any level, any items below it will inherit the changed permissions.

SharePoint has a very easy way to check permissions of an individual user, check out my video below on how to use it.



SharePoint Consultancy and Services

Cloud Design Box

A few months ago, I started a new SharePoint consultancy business. I will continue to add blog posts here but you can contact me directly for any of the following Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365 services by clicking here:

  • Responsive design and branding
  • Site architecture planning and implementation
  • Workflow and consultancy services
  • SharePoint upgrades
  • Office 365 configuration
  • SharePoint Support
  • Scripting and client object model solutions

We provide these services for education and for business. Please visit the website for more information www.clouddesignbox.co.uk

SharePoint 2013 Preview

SharePoint 2013 Preview

SharePoint 2013 Preview version was released this week. I took the chance to install it and get a first look at the new version of Microsoft’s powerful integration content management software.

Resources:
Install files can be found here
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30345
SharePoint 15 Training files
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/sharepoint/fp123606

SharePoint 2013 Preview Home
Install notes:

The install is very similar to SharePoint 2010. Hardware requirements seem to be exactly the same as the previous version. The only additional work I had to do was upgrade SQL Server 2008 R2 to service pack 1.

Office Web Apps:

Office web apps are no longer a service application within SharePoint. In fact they are now set up as a completely separate farm from SharePoint. This is because other products/services can integrate with this farm such as exchange. This also allows web app system usage and load to be completely independent from the SharePoint farm.

Mobile View:

The new version of SharePoint will have device detection to redirect to a mobile site. Also capable of mobile push notifications.

Sharing:

When a site is created, the site owner is encouraged to share the site using the share button at the top of the page. This seems to be more of a rewording/rearrangement of the site permissions page.

Apps:

Lists and Libraries have been renamed Apps. You can download additional Apps from the SharePoint Store (very original).

Apps
Ribbon:

The ribbon has been restyled slightly but the biggest improvement is in the performance of the ribbon appearing when editing the page. Waiting for the ribbon to load a tab in SharePoint 2010 no longer happens in SharePoint 2013, the ribbon slides out instantly and smoothly.

Ribbon

Of course there is far more to SharePoint 2013 than just this. I will post back when I have dug a little deeper.

Theming

BETT 2012 – Olympia, London

BETT show 2012 Olympia
I will again be attending the BETT 2012 show at Olympia, London on 11th-14th January 2012.

I will be demonstrating SharePoint customisation and integration into schools systems (SIMS, Exchange, Moodle, VLEs, etc..) on Stand H9 in the National Hall.

For more information please visit the following websites:

BETT 2010 – Stand H9

bettI will be at BETT 2010 with CORE Education and Consulting Solutions. I will be doing a short SharePoint branding workshop.

BETT 2010 http://www.bettshow.com/

CORE Education http://www.coreeducation.co.uk

I will show how CSS can be used to customise vanilla SharePoint sites and how you can use Master Pages and Features to create richer SharePoint designs.

These workshops will be regular across all the days at BETT next week. If I’m free just ask me and I will start a workshop for you.

See you soon,
Tony

New Custom Designs

Here’s one of my most recent designs for a school in Bradford. It’s SharePoint 2007 site using CSS, master pages and page layouts. It’s an interface for a primary school which hopefully makes it easier to use without losing the SharePoint functionality.

We had a nice opening ceremony which was attended by the local news paper (see below).

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/district/district_bradford/4627331.School_blazes_trail_with_hi_tech_system/

I have posted a few of my new SharePoint Master Pages and Styles below

If you are interested in SharePoint solutions for schools please visit
http://www.coreuk.co.uk

I will post some more designs very shortly.

Master Page Magic

It’s pretty simple to edit master pages as long as you know where to put the HTML/JavaScript/CSS.
I inserted the banner image and the CSS menu into the Master Page on this site. The JavaScript was inserted into the header but I inserted the CSS at the bottom of the page (this is so it can override the default CSS).

The HTML was added to the Master Page by inserting a new table row under the ms-globalTitleArea table cell. This is one of the best places for a banner as it spans the width of the page.

The flash banner was added in the actual page as I didn’t want the flash banner to appear on any other page except the home page.

The style could be made into a theme but remember that the Master Page will not contain the JavaScript or HTML unless it has been inherited from the parent site. It might be a good idea to create a theme for the colours and other CSS properties but also create a Master Page for the HTML and Java. You could them save this as a template to reuse for a number of sites!