The December 2015 update (4.12) will be deployed on Tuesday, December 29th. The elves have been busy creating lots of presents for you to use in 2016!

Sign up now for the SharePoint User Group to gain access to the Scholantis Preview Site.


Office 365 & Google Drive - Better Together

Easily import files from your Office 365 OneDrive or Google Drive into an assignment or a portfolio post. If you're using Office 365 OneDrive and don't see the option please get in touch with your IT department.

      

Teacher Public Site - Pretty Profiles

Staff and teachers can quickly personalize their public sites with a banner, bio, photo and other info. With this intuitive new design, you can edit the name, phone and email which are automatically retrieved from your system directory. Choose from a selection of header images or use your own. New Public Sites will include the profile app automatically. You can enable the Public Profile app on your Public Site from the Settings menu.

Discussions - Rebooted

Easier to use and more attractive, discussion boards now have moderation, badges, a member list, email notifications and much more. Existing discussions will be automagically upgraded to use the new SharePoint Community Site feature. Unused discussion boards (with 0 posts) will be deactivated during this process. Enable the Discussion feature for your class or group site from the Settings menu.

Share, Find & Follow Documents

You can now follow files anywhere on your portal. Follow a document to easily find a shared document, access a frequently used file, or simply save an important doc for later. Followed files can be accessed from your OneDrive under Followed Documents.

   

Portfolios - Lightning Fast

With a growing number of districts recognizing that digital portfolios are an amazingly effective tool for learning and assessment we continue to push the boundaries in this space. 4.12 delivers another huge step forward:

  • Batch add - Teachers can quickly send a post to multiple students. Like sending an email, you just choose your recipients. As with any post, you can quickly add files and lock and tag content.
  • Lightning insert - Add photos, videos and files to individual posts at the speed of light! Turn on Lightning Insert and instantly take photos or record video. Or, at any time, drag and drop any file onto an existing post. Inserted content is appended after existing content.
  • Documents in the browser - Create Word, Excel and PowerPoint files right in the browser. You can also edit existing documents.
  • Tagging - Set specific tags for each grade, or even for specific schools. You'll only see the tags relevant to the current student's grade and school.
  • Speed - Portfolios have been re-built from the ground up to be faster in every way, whether it's navigating, viewing or adding posts. Files, photos and videos start uploading immediately upon selection. Also included are improvements for low bandwidth connections and server performance improvements.
  • Post details - Selecting the date on a post now displays the created and edited date and author. Selecting a tag shows you all related content.
  • Changing grades - Students can select their initial grade, future grade changes must be made by a teacher.
  • Profile photos by grade - Profile photos are now preserved for each grade. Students can see what they looked like in previous grades.
  • Everything else - In addition to the specific improvements above, we have enhanced, tweaked and polished almost every aspect of portfolios.

Weather - It's cold outside!

Display current weather conditions and a forecast on your website or portal. The app can be added to any page or, for public websites, embedded into your design with a little customization by the Scholantis team. The location is automatically selected from your site information postal code (editable via the footer link: Edit Site Info).

Quickly add stylized featured links. Choose a colour and an image to make it look snazzy. Available as a content template for Custom List View, just add the app to your page and select the template.

 

Search Analytics

Find out what site visitors are looking for and help them find it! Site searches are now configured to show up in Google Analytics (Behavior > Site Search). Here's a snapshot of today's top ten: Calendar is #1, Calender is #9. and Christmas concert is #7!

Analytics now treat page URLs as case insensitive for more accurate and useful analytics. The change is not retroactive but has been in effect since November. Search can be an incredibly useful tool for visitors, fortunately your site comes with very powerful tools to help. The first step is to review your analytics. You can add promoted results to help users searching for a "calender", unless they really are looking for a calender!

Search Engine Ranking (SEO)

We have enabled advanced search engine optimization tools which let you improve your site ranking in search engines such as Google or Bing. Read more about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and download a comprehensive whitepaper (advanced concepts). While your sites are already optimized for search engines, these tools let you customize and further enhance your search ranking, even for specific pages.

Minor Fixes & Changes

  • Class and group site features - When creating a new class or group site, all features will be unchecked by default. But it's easy to select the desired features for your site.
  • Assignments - The number of upcoming assignments displayed on the My Site is now limited to 3.
  • Content Templates - We continue to make more content templates to make your life easier. Learn more about the new content templates, and others such as the board member list or featured videos. Easy to use and smartphone friendly:
    • Sent Newsletters Files List - Add the Newsletter Attachments app to your site home page. The app automatically lists any files sent using the Newsletter feature so you don't have to manually add them to your home page publications folder.
    • Bell Times - Add a simple schedule of bell times to your site. 
  • Cleanup - In our continuing mission to make sites easier to use a number of features have been hidden. Features can be restored for a specific site by disabling the Scholantis Hide Site Settings feature from Site Collection Features:
    • App Categories - The available app categories (web parts) have been reduced to simplify page editing. Class and group sites now only display Apps, Media & Content & Scholantis. 
    • Site Contents & App store - The left navigation and SharePoint store links have been hidden for regular site users (they can't install store apps). 
    • Page ribbon tab - A number of unnecessary items have been removed from the page ribbon tab to simplify editing for users.
    • Wikis - Class or group wikis with no content will be deactivated. No data will be deleted during the process. Wikis were deprecated a year ago.
  • Multiple iCal Subscriptions - Multiple Calendar subscriptions are now possible on iOS Devices. Each calendar will have a name containing the site title.

  • Public Site Creation - When creating your OneDrive or Public Site you can now wait on the creation page while your site is created (or just come back later).
  • Easy Embedding (Blogs) Disabled - The beta feature for portal blogs is now discontinued. Let us know if you'd like to see it revisited.
  • Pink theme - All portals now include a Pink theme, available under Theme in the Settings menu. Easily change the theme of your site for anti-bullying day.

Notes & Resources

Support Plus is a new Scholantis offering to provide full service support for your system. You provide the hardware, power it, cool it, and back it up. We take care of the rest. Many customers have taken advantage of this great service so they can focus on the important things. Get in touch if you'd like to learn more.

Check out our latest user documentation and technical resources:

  • Email Alerts - Learn how to get an email alert for a new item or a changed one, with immediate, daily or weekly summary options.
  • Custom List View Templates - Discover the available content templates when using the Custom List View app.
  • Site Directory - Find out how to quickly display a directory of sites and pages within your site or a specific sub-section.
  • Office Online 2016 Server - Improved editing and co-authoring for SharePoint 2013 coming early 2016.

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