Microsoft SharePoint Tips for Teachers and Administrators

edited April 24 in Education

Juggling lesson plans, managing student work, and fostering collaboration can feel like a constant challenge for teachers and school administrators, which is why it’s important to embrace tools like Microsoft SharePoint. This powerful online platform can revolutionize the way educational institutions operate, facilitating easier communication, streamlining workflows, and creating dynamic, efficient learning environments for everyone. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of SharePoint for educators and provide practical tips to help you unlock its full potential for your school community. 

What Is Microsoft SharePoint? 

Microsoft SharePoint is a web-based platform for communication, collaboration, and content management. It serves as a secure, centralized hub where teams can store, organize, share, and work on documents and projects using any device. SharePoint offers features such as document libraries, lists, wikis, blogs, and workflows, plus integration with other Microsoft Office applications. It’s highly customizable and can be tailored to suit an organization’s various needs. 

To better understand what SharePoint can do for you and your institution, here’s a summary of some key features and how you can maximize them: 

Content Management and Search  

Locate information across SharePoint sites and libraries with the robust search functionality. 

Usage for Schools: Tag documents and resources with relevant metadata for easy searchability. Students can quickly find past assignments or specific learning materials, while teachers can locate curriculum resources effortlessly.  

Workflow Automation 

SharePoint workflows are automated sequences of actions that can be triggered by specific events or conditions within SharePoint sites or documents. Workflows streamline organizational processes. 

Usage for Schools: Automate permission requests for new faculty or student accounts. Set up workflows for parents to receive notifications for upcoming school events or report cards. This frees up valuable time for teachers and administrators. 

Access Controls 

SharePoint gives you granular control over who can view, edit, or contribute to content. 

Usage for Schools: Teachers can restrict access to specific class materials for enrolled students, while administrators can manage access to sensitive data for authorized personnel only. Applying permission controls ensures data privacy and security within the school community. 

Version Control and Auditing 

SharePoint tracks changes made to documents, allowing users to revert to previous versions if needed. Audit trails provide a record of access and modifications. 

Usage for Schools: Version control enables students to ensure that they’re always working on the latest version of assignments. Teachers can track document activity for accountability purposes. 


Use SharePoint seamlessly with other Microsoft Office 365 applications like Teams, Outlook, and OneDrive. 

Usage for Schools: Embed Microsoft Teams channels within SharePoint class sites for real-time discussions. Create permission-controlled surveys and quizzes using Forms and integrate them directly into SharePoint. You can also utilize OneNote Class Notebooks for collaborative note-taking within SharePoint. 

Microsoft SharePoint vs. Popular File Storage Services 

If you’ve never used SharePoint before, you may be wondering what makes it different from cloud storage systems like Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive. The latter primarily focuses on providing online storage space for files and documents. Users can upload, store, and access files from any device with internet access. While Google Drive also offers collaboration features such as file sharing and real-time editing, it is more geared toward personal file storage and sharing. On the other hand, SharePoint provides comprehensive content management capabilities, including document libraries, metadata, and workflows. 

SharePoint’s advanced collaboration features include team sites, discussion boards, task lists, and workflow automation. It is also tightly integrated with other Microsoft Office 365 applications like Teams, Outlook, and OneDrive, providing a seamless productivity suite for organizations and businesses. 

Additionally, SharePoint can be tailored to suit specific organizational needs through custom site designs, workflows, and integrations, while file storage services typically offer limited customization options. 

To sum up, while both Microsoft SharePoint and cloud storage systems like Google Drive offer file storage and collaboration features, SharePoint is more suitable for organizations with complex collaboration and document management needs, such as schools and colleges. 

How Schools Can Make the Most of Microsoft SharePoint 

There’s a wide, diverse range of SharePoint uses for educational institutions, whether you’re communicating with the entire school community or encouraging collaboration in smaller groups like classes and faculty departments. Here’s a list of ways for you to utilize SharePoint, grouped according to specific goals or needs: 

Facilitate Communication Between the School and Its Stakeholders 

  • School Intranet: Create a home page for the school so students, parents, and educators can stay updated on important information. Use news posts and announcements to communicate updates. Maintain a centralized school calendar with events, holidays, deadlines, and other important dates. 
  • Parent Engagement: Provide access to SharePoint sites or portals where parents can view their child’s academic progress, attendance records, and upcoming assignments. Encourage parents to participate in discussions, volunteer opportunities, and school events. 

Enhance Collaboration Within Classrooms and Cohorts 

  • Class Websites: Create virtual classrooms with course materials, announcements, assignments, and discussion forums. Include discussion boards or forums for student-teacher interaction and peer collaboration. If applicable, teachers can also make SharePoint sites for individual subjects. 
  • Team Projects: Set up project sites for student groups to share documents and brainstorm ideas. Students can collaborate on assignments, presentations, and projects in real time using SharePoint's co-authoring capabilities, and version control ensures everyone is working on the latest files. 

Share Records and Resources Within Faculty and Admin 

  • Centralized Document Management: Use SharePoint document libraries for a school-wide repository of educational resources, lesson plans, syllabi, and research materials. Organize documents by subject, grade level, or topic for easy access and collaboration. 
  • Faculty Communication: Create department pages where educators can share resources, best practices, and announcements. 
  • Professional Development Hub: Use SharePoint to give educators access to training materials, workshops, webinars, and other upskilling resources. Offer self-paced courses, online tutorials, and certification programs to support continuous learning and professional growth. 
  • Administrative Processes: Streamline admin work such as enrollment, registration, grading, and attendance tracking using SharePoint workflows and forms. Create custom SharePoint lists or apps to manage student records, course schedules, and academic calendars. Develop standardized online forms for permission slips, registrations, surveys, and other tasks. 

Create Organized, Accessible, and Personalized Resource Libraries 

  • Curriculum Management: Organize and share curriculum materials, lesson plans, and learning objectives in a centralized location. These resource hubs can also be made accessible to parents and students. 
  • Digital Library: Create a collection of e-books, articles, multimedia resources, and other learning materials for students and educators. 
  • Personalized Learning Portals: Provide students with personalized portals to access their class materials, assignments, grades, and progress reports.  
  • Online Portfolios: Allow students to create and maintain digital portfolios using SharePoint. They can showcase their academic achievements, projects, extracurricular activities, and reflections in an organized and visually appealing manner. 

Remember to provide training or tutorials for educators, parents, and students so everyone involved can effectively use SharePoint’s functionalities. PCs that offer increased connectivity, like the Aspire 5 Spin 14 laptop, also ensure that users can access their learning resources wherever they are. This convertible device has a touchscreen, allowing you to use it as a laptop or a tablet. 

By embracing and incorporating Microsoft SharePoint into your school’s day-to-day processes, you can create a more dynamic and connected environment that supports the success of your students and staff. 

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About Micah Sulit: Micah is a writer and editor with a focus on lifestyle topics like tech, wellness, and travel. She loves writing while sipping an iced mocha in a cafe, preferably one in a foreign city. She's based in Manila, Philippines. 



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