The number of colleges using SharePoint to provide a portal within their college is steadily increasing – mainly, I think, because it can provide a way to integrate all of the different sets of data across the college – from student information systems, to virtual learning environments, and every day document management.

One of the things that has been less prominent is the use of the same SharePoint to drive the external website. Often I see colleges with two different web systems, which results in having to manage two completely different content management systems, and often two different technical skill sets.

Esher College have standardised onto one technology, and are using SharePoint for their external site too – with help from Parabola Software. Although they have three portals – one for the public site, one for student and one for staff, it is possible to link information between the portals and provided the user has access rights it’s seamless.

I’d be interested in hearing about others using SharePoint for their external website – just add a comment to the blog, and give a link to yours.

(For more inspiration, take a look at this list of Top 10 SharePoint 2007 sites, with examples from outside of education, worldwide)