The November 2015 update (4.11) will be deployed on Tuesday, November 3rd.

Look for the megaphone! We've highlighted two important changes worthy of communicating to end users and support staff. 

As part of ongoing improvements to our update process, we are extending the notice period for updates and also announcing an Early Access Program for customers to preview upcoming changes. Sign up for the SharePoint User Group to gain access now.


Simple Page Editing (Portal) 

We've simplified the editing of pages on your portal. The PUBLISH tab has been removed - just click Save. 

 

These changes apply to all portal pages including class, group, and public sites. The page and app editing interface has also been streamlined. Apps can now only be deleted from a page: the close and minimize options have been removed.

Notes: If you require advanced publishing workflow for portal pages the "Require check-out" and "minor version" functions can be enabled from the versioning settings for the Pages list (found under Settings > Site contents). Apps can still be Hidden from the app settings, available under the Layouts category (Allow Hide must also be enabled under the Advanced category).

Settings Menu (Class, Group, Public Sites) 

The Manage Site, Access, and Theme links have been merged with the Settings menu. All settings are now found in the Settings menu (top right),

This applies to all sites including class, group and public sitesThe Recycle bin and Site settings areas are still available from the Site contents page.

Enhancements

  • Assignments 2.1 - Since the launch of Assignments 2.0 in September we've seen a huge increase in adoption from teachers and students. In response, we've addressed a number of common feature requests:

    • Select files from Shared Documents (if it is enabled on a class site).
    • Terminology has been changed from "Graded" to "Assessed".
    • Assignments now display a Locked label once the assignment due date has passed or an assessment has been entered.
    • Turned in submissions are now indicated to students as Turned In (previously labelled as Pending).
    • For the next update we're planning to allow users to select personal documents stored in their Office 365 OneDrive and Google Drive.
  • Easy Page creation (Class, Group, Public Sites) - Site owners can quickly create new pages right from the site navigation bar. Creating sub-sites on these sites is discouraged but is still available from Site contents (found in the Settings menu).

  • Shared Documents Sharing & Version (Class Sites) - Students can now share documents with each other without teacher approval.  This is a great feature for group work and allowing students to co-create documents. In addition, document versioning is now enabled for all files.

  • My Classes Menu (Class, Public Sites) - When visiting class or public sites, teachers and students can now quickly jump between their sites using the My Classes menu.

  • Login Redirect & Access Requests - Portal users, such as students, who access the root site (/) are now automatically redirected to the My Site. The access denied message, still presented elsewhere, has been improved with an updated design and a link to the My Site page.
     
  • Easy Embedding (Blogs) - Adding a link to YouTubeVimeoTEDGoogle DocsPreziTweetFacebook, and dozens of other sites, will automatically embed the content within your blog post. No messing around with embed code, just insert a link to the content and we'll take care of the details. 
     
  • Website Images - Auto Rotate, Scale & Compress - Images uploaded to your website are now automatically compressed, scaled down to a maximum of 1920 x 1920 pixels, and auto-rotated if device orientation data is available. This behaviour only applies to new images and can be disabled from Site collecton features (found in Settings > Site settings).
     
  • Social Media Tracking - Updated analytics code now provides detailed social media tracking. Identify where people are sharing your content, measure engagement, and track traffic. If you don't have access to your analytics create a Google Account and get in touch for access.
  • Quick View - Special Announcements and Calendars (Portal only) now open right on the page for lightning quick access to important information and event details. 
     
  • Tweet, Post on Facebook, Email & Print - News, Special Announcements, and Events now include these new options: Email, Print, Tweet, and Post on Facebook. The Twitter and Facebook options are only displayed on public sites which don't require a login. The new shortcuts are displayed next to the existing RSS and Alert icons when viewing an announcement or event. 
     
  • Site settings Cleanup - The SharePoint Site settings page has been streamlined, unnecessary features have been removed. Hidden options can be restored by disabling the feature (found under Settings > Site settings > Site collection features).
     
  • Featured Videos Template - A new Custom List View template makes it easy to showcase videos on your portal or website. Whether the video is from YouTube or uploaded to the site you can easily embed featured videos onto your pages. 
     
  • School Day Template - A new Custom List View template makes it easy to display the current school day on your portal or website. Your school day schedule can be easily imported from a spreadsheet.

Minor Fixes & Changes

  • Help & What's New (Portal) - Signed in users can access help and discover more about recent changes using the links now available in the footer. 
  • Alerts for Discussion boards - The discussion board now includes a shortcut to quickly sign up for email alerts.
  • Discussion Board Images & Files (Class sites) - Students can now add images and files to discussion board posts on class sites.
  • Blog Tools Menu - Blog creation and editing tools are now available on mobile devices.
  • XLS Spreadsheet Preview Disabled - Previews for XLS files in assignments has been removed, XLS previews are not supported by the Excel web viewer. XLSX files are still supported.

Notes & Resources

Effective October 1st, 2015, we modified our support policy so you can ask for help for free. As an IT staff member or tech facilitator, if you need help understanding how to use our solution, think something might be wrong, or want to ask about something new, there’s no charge to ask. 

We're also continuing to create new user documentation and technical resources:

  • Office Online 2016 Server - Improved co-authoring for SharePoint 2013 coming Spring 2016.
  • SIS Integrated Classes - Simplified student management for class sites. IBM School Connect integration also available.
  • Staff Room: An adoption challenge - A blog post about our updated virtual staff room template and related adoption tools. Are you getting the most out of your online staff rooms? Do you want help with onboarding users and growing adoption?

If you have comments on any new features or on the update process itself, please get in touch or email us at feedback@scholantis.com