With an alumni network of over 2000 qualified teachers, Teach First faced a growing demand for a better networking platform, and BrightLemon were the perfect agency for the job.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
Teach First recruits over 1000 trainee teachers to work in schools across England and Wales, but they lacked an online presence, and their thriving community needed a place to connect and share opportunities. The aim of the project was to provide a social platform that would shape the future of education.
WHAT WE DID
BrightLemon worked closely with Teach First to build a solution that would not only increase the impact for their teachers, but also inspire the movement for change in education.
Creating a community subdomain for Teach First membership
Our developers set about creating a network that allowed users to generate their own blogs, advertisements and resources, building a way of connecting rather than just a broadcast channel. The site included integrated event registration, advanced search and a sort and filter functionality in order for members to be able to find their way around the site quickly and easily. Users could also monitor upcoming events they’d registered for, find their bookmarked content and manage their personal details with the User Dashboard system.
Our developers thought it was important to encourage as much interaction as possible, so they implemented a tool which enables users to quickly create custom groups and forum systems on which they can post questions and start conversations.
The site implemented a system to create events with pre allocated seating for users at different levels or from different yearly intakes, as well as personalised content which is only pushed to users in particular areas of the country. Libraries were also used to allow any user to upload lesson plans and content to their e-portfolio.
There were so many different modules involved in building each section of the site, including geolocation, messaging, discussion groups and email alerts.
BrightLemon’s first mobile-responsive site
The Teach First community was our very first mobile-first site, designed to be easily used on a tablet with sideways swiping elements to browse through information.
The adaptive design used Drupal’s Views and some jQuery plugins, so that it was easy to create lists of related content and events that were easy to navigate on touch based devices.
With our help, the Teach First Users can now generate their own content, so the community can share more opportunities for collaboration.
Based on the success of the platform, Teach First has already introduced new user groups to the platform - meaning there are even more opportunities to connect.
A tracker has now been built within the trainee teacher user dashboard so they can evaluate their classroom impact on an ongoing basis.
Teach First has also gone on to become the fourth largest recruitment company in the UK, with an outstanding number of 400,000 children from low income families working for/with them.
“We selected BrightLemon as our development partners due to their proven experience with Drupal and online community building strategies. Our partnership has worked exceptionally well throughout the development process with BrightLemon providing sound recommendations on site functionality and applying community building strategies.” - Christopher Beales, Business Analyst and Project Manager at Teach First