Teaching Channel

Building an inspired community around teaching

TeachingChannel.org is a place for US K-12 teachers to discover useful educational tools, primarily in the form of high-quality videos that offer a glimpse into real teachers’ classrooms. The hub of an active community, the site encourages teachers to inspire and support each other by sharing practices they are finding effective in the field.

Teaching Channel partnered with Method to design a primary platform for educational videos and supplemental resource documents. A new brand identity and visual system paired with sophisticated search and discovery functionality secured Teaching Channel 30,000 registered users in the 8 months after launch, with over 10% of viewers watching 10+ minutes of video. In just over two years since launching in June 2011, TeachingChannel.org has more than 350,000 registered users and is gaining over 1,000 new members a day. 24% percent of users return at least two times per month.

www.teachingchannel.org

Challenge

Teaching Channel first came to Method in need of defining its brand identity and website to both appeal to teachers and stand out in the educational space as a trusted resource.

The site needed to be sophisticated and easy to use. Discovery had to be effortless and quick, and also offer relevant content suggestions. The challenge lay in surfacing content that could provide inspiration and resources for use in the classroom the very next day. Method developed a strategy for facilitating relevant content discovery and site architecture, conducting intensive interviews and usability testing with teachers to refine the design and functionality.

Approach

To communicate the brand’s new, dynamic approach, Method updated Teaching Channel’s logo and visual system. A clean and compelling visual language conveys the high quality of Teaching Channel’s content and offerings. The new visual system differentiates from the typical professional resources industry standard with lighter tones, bright solids, and simplified iconography. It captures interest immediately, establishing it as personal tool for teachers, comfortable and well organized with unique, quality content.

The logo itself echoes both the video player functionality of the site, and a speech bubble representative of each teacher’s unique voice. The "Tch" abbreviation speaks not only to a shortened version of the words “Teaching Channel,” but also reflects the spirit of an enthusiastic call to action to teach. The abbreviation also works as a unique and ownable name for the brand. Method extended this new brand identity across a range of brand collateral, including clothing and letterhead.

Critical to the website design was time; teachers have little time to waste searching for relevant materials. We responded to this challenge with an alternative to search that enables quicker browsing and discovery of relevant content through filters and contextual details. Key to video experience was the implementation of a Notes feature, which allows teachers to create time-stamped notes alongside a playing video. These notes can be shared to maximize discovery of what other teachers are interested in and for customizing and adapting lesson plans.

TeachingChannel.org’s quick growth proved it was a needed resource for a vibrant, actively connected community of teachers: just 8 months after launch, TeachingChannel.org gained over 30,000 registered users. Since then, the community has grown more than ten-fold.

After the success of the first phase of work, Teaching Channel and Method turned their sights towards nurturing the growing online community with more complex local and social features, developing a new premium product called Teaching Channel Teams, which gives schools, school districts and others the ability to create private versions of the site for their own communities.

Other enhanced tools, such as,stronger annotation tools, Q&A, and notifications, make existing Teaching Channel resources even much more useful. This increased sense of community adds a social layer to all of the site’s features, enriching the content and opportunities for teachers to better connect and learn more whether as part of a local community, as a part of the Tch National community.

As part of the work on Tch Teams, Method worked with Tch partners, including the Academy of Urban School Leadership, to incorporate feedback and pilot the Teams features with locally organized groups of teachers.

Outcome

Method’s work with Teaching Channel has produced an award-winning responsive web experience that helps time-strapped teachers inspire their classrooms, engage with each other, and organize resources.

In just over two years since launching in June 2011, TeachingChannel.org has more than 350,000 registered users and is gaining an average of 1,000 new members a day. 24% percent of users return at least two times per month.

Working with Method has been a true partnership. They took the time to really understand our users, their needs and challenges. The results of this work have been fantastic, with a constant stream of positive educator feedback we know that Teaching Channel is having a positive impact on teachers and classrooms around the US.
Candice Meyers
Chief Product Officer, Teaching Channel
Method announced the launch of Teaching Channel’s new website, TeachingChannel.org, and brand identity to public beta. Teaching Channel partnered with Method to create a community-driven site where time was a critical factor. Method responded to this challenge with an alternative to search which enables teachers to easily and more quickly browse and discover relevant content through filters and contextual details.
Dexigner
Tackling the challenge of facilitating discovery of relevant videos required a different search mechanism than conventional keyword search. Instead, Method needed to create opportunities for serendipitous discovery of useful content. These unexpected, “happy accidents” allow users to uncover content that is useful and inspiring.
UX Magazine

Pixel Awards

Student
2012

Webby Awards

Official Honoree
2012

Interactive Media Awards

Best in Class, Education
2012

IxDA Interaction Awards

Winner, Empowering
2012