Home > Uncategorized > SUGUK Leicester – 18 March 2010 – Education Special

SUGUK Leicester – 18 March 2010 – Education Special

This was the first time I had run a SUGUK event outside of our offices in Nottingham, and I must admit I was a little worried about not having complete control over the event.  However, the night was a real success with 30+ people attending, two great sessions and some fantastic catering!

Two guys who are regular attendees of our SUGUK midlands events, Matt Hughes (@mattmoo2) and his colleague Harry Plum (@HPlum78) asked if we could host an event at their place of work – The Samworth Enterprise Academy, in Leicester.

The main entrance faces north onto the city.

This seemed a fitting venue to host an education special, and two experienced guys in this field, Alex Pearce MVP (@Alex_Pearce) and Richard Willis of Salamander Software (@RPWillis) kindly travelled to Leicester to deliver some quality sessions.

After my usual intro speech, Alex kicked off with ‘101 Questions Before Implementing SharePoint in Education.  This turned out to be around 78 questions in the end, however the point was that you cant simply buy SharePoint, install it and then think – right what shall we do with this?  It needs careful planning and before decisions can be made on physical architecture, security, information architecture etc, certain questions must be asked of your user base.  This session provoked around 20 minutes of questions and gave us chance to layout the huge spread which was supplied.  Alex’s slides are available on his blog.

A break followed, with quite simply the best spread I’ve ever experienced at a SharePoint User Group and a welcome change from pizza.  A huge thank you to the Samworth Academy and the catering staff!!!

Next up was Richard Willis to discuss the SharePoint Learning Kit (SLK) v 1.4.  The SharePoint Learning Kit is an open source software development project which extends SharePoint.  It allows educators to create course plans, assignments, distribute work and grade assignments + more.  This was a special interest of mine as it is potentially a powerful solution for schools, but sadly hasn’t had the investment put into it since going open source.  This was a very interesting session and provoked lots a questions in my mind about the use of SCORM content.  Most certainly a free add-on worth considering for any school with SharePoint.

A great deal of work has been done by Richard himself though, and v1.4 has some nice new features, including the ‘drop box’ functionality.  Read more about this over on Richard’s blog.

All in all, another great SUGUK Midlands event.  HUGE thanks for the Samworth Enterprise Academy for hosting the event and providing the wonderful catering.  Also respect to Matt and Harry for making things happen at their end.  I’m sure we can host many more events there in future.

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