schoolfront

Mark Stewart, our very own Strategic Partner Manager in the Education team, recently had the opportunity to visit Parklands Primary School and join their event with Learning Possibilities Plus (LP+) to understand how they are making the most of their Learning Gateway. Here is his post.

It was with extreme pleasure that I was able to take the afternoon out on March 8th to go and participate in a primary school event sponsored by Learning Possibilities Plus (LP+), hosted by Parklands Primary School (Northamptonshire).  In attendance were 50 or so teachers from nearby schools all keen to see how technology can be used in schools to improve student /teacher learning and engagement.

LP+ are a specialist education partner who developed a Hosted Learning Platform solution built on Microsoft SharePoint , addressing primary and secondary school learning and collaboration requirements.

I found it to be a great afternoon, hearing a number of teachers sharing some of the innovation they have introduced into their learning platforms and so I thought it would be great to share some highlights with the wider teachers out there and how to add compelling content and experiences to your SharePoint solution.

Voicethread - With VoiceThread, group conversations are collected and shared in one place.   A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate slides and leave comments in 5 ways - using voice (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). Share a VoiceThread with friends, students, and colleagues for them to record comments too.  Users can doodle while commenting, use multiple identities, and pick which comments are shown through moderation.   You can embed this application into your SharePoint using the “Content & PageViewer” Webparts.

UStream – With UStream you can download a tool that allows you to broadcast live streaming video from a camcorder or webcam to a PC.  You can then embed these into your SharePoint using the Media Webpart.  The ability to broadcast school or field trip events really made a big difference in the engagement with students and also the end result and ability to share those experiences in an innovative way.

PrimaryPad - PrimaryPad is a web-based text editor designed for schools that allows pupils and teachers to work together in real-time.  Again this was integrated into SharePoint using WebParts.  We could see how easy it was to extend the learning platform to include interesting, simple collaboration activities.  PrimaryPad is clever in the way it tracks who is writing what, for example, showing who has contributed to a group assignment.

I enjoyed my time sharing ideas with teachers from around the area and hope to see more of these innovations around our Education Partner solutions in the future. I hope you find these useful and helpful in your classroom too.