This is a transcript. For the video, see Share My Lesson - Part 3 - Building on Success, and What’s Next.
[00:00:00] Michael Meyers: Hello, and welcome to our Tag1 TeamTalk on, Share My Lesson with Kelly Booz, the Director of Share My Lesson and e-learning at the American Federation of Teachers. My name is Michael Meyers. I'm the managing director at Tag1 Consulting. And I'm joined today by Peta Hoyes, Tag1's Chief Operating Officer.
[00:00:19] If you missed part one and two the intro and background to Share My Lesson and the success story of, you know wrangling, you know, all this success and how you get on top of it and grow your site. Check out part two. And this segment part three, we're going to be talking about building on all of that success that AFT and Kelly and her team have seen to date.
[00:00:42] So Kelly can you tell us a little bit about you know, what are your goals at this point? You know, you've created the largest online, you know, lesson repository, you're serving so many different constituencies, you know, maybe even more than you ever thought, especially in, you know, the pandemic world. What, you know, where do you go from here?
[00:01:07] What do you know? What are your business challenges?
[00:01:10] Kelly Booz: Yeah, no. Thanks. Thanks for having me back. So. You know, we are constantly, we constantly want to make sure that our site is relevant and that our members, and particularly now that we've got a lot more members who've joined us over the course of the last year can find their content easily and have a good, you know, user experience.
[00:01:31] So, you know, I think we mentioned this in the previous session, but on the search and making sure that, you know, we're, we're tweaking the search. So if I search for something on the Constitution, the right resources are showing up and you know, relevant resources are showing up and making sure that the search is easy to navigate.
[00:01:52] And I can really narrow it down based on you know, the grade and subject that I teach. It sometimes can be daunting to use our search and all of a sudden. 4,000 resources pop up because we got that much content. So, you know, really trying to serve up the right resources and narrowing it down. You know, on top of that, our collections have always been a key central point of our sites.
[00:02:16] Because we have so many resources. We really, we spend a lot of time. Finding the good content and curating those resources into relevant collections. So whether it's something for You know, right now we're recording this in February. So whether it's something for Black History Month you know, or Women's History Month or you know, a very current event like January 6th, the Capitol Hill insurrection you know, we have educators that are looking for content to teach.
[00:02:47] And if it's something that is a breaking news stuff such as the January 6th incident. Folks, our educators are looking at like, okay, this is happening. How do I deal with this? And how do I teach this the next day with my students? So, you know, with our great content, we're able to really put those collections together.
[00:03:04] So what we want to also make sure is that in addition to search it's easy to find those relevant resources on, in an, in especially, in those hot topic areas. And you know, a couple other things too is just also, we want to make a stronger case. So when people come to Share My Lesson, they also know that this is an American Federation of Teachers owned site.
[00:03:25] So trying to make that a better connection with the AFT. And then finally you know, we do lots of webinars. Certainly mentioned this in previous recordings that, you know, we do virtual conferences and. And, but now in addition to our virtual conference that we do, we do webinars throughout the year and they're big events are well attended.
[00:03:46] And we want to make sure that our members can find what's coming up and what's relevant, whether it's, you know, just a just a resource on a civic holiday that's coming up or, you know, a very important webinar that we're doing. On a content, you know, related to either, you know, maybe it's Capitol Hill or reading is fundamental or something like that.
[00:04:09] Peta Hoyes: So one of the Kelly's kind of talking about, you know, from the end user perspective, how do you get them from how to get a user, the shortest path to the most relevant thing for them in that moment, whatever they need based on who they are, right. Or how they're searching for stuff. And, and that's that's an enormous aspect of what we're sort of looking at and investigating and seeing if we've got the shortest paths to that information from the ways that she's describing just now. But there are also lots of other improvements to the technology itself that we're making and we're doing a huge upgrade. Actually. It's a, Drupal 9 from Drupal 7, which is a pretty big shift actually for them, but the reason and why we're doing it.
[00:04:56] And these are also hit some of the business goals is that we have to make the site more accessible. That opens us up to an even broader audience, ideally, and it, so that it meets, you know standards. We've got also some - we're trying to make the site have better mobile support, right.
[00:05:13] And Drupal 8 well Drupal 8-9 that it was built with that in mind. Right. You know, and one of the other huge improvements we're going to see is media handling being improved between 7 and 8 for a site that has, again, hundreds of thousands of lessons we want to make, embed more of those assets, that aren't just things like Excel documents and word docs or handouts.
[00:05:38] There're going to be video embeds and a host of other things that we want to make more you know, readily visible when you can come and look at a lesson itself, which is the, some of the most atomic content on the site. But ultimately you know, the admin interfaces for Drupal 8 and 9 are orders better than Drupal 7 and for a site this large, with this many users it was imperative for us to also improve easier ways for the staff that manages the site to do the tasks that they have to do on a daily basis to manage all of that stuff. But ultimately, you know, this is the last big, massive upgrade.
[00:06:20] Kelly Booz: Oh, you say
[00:06:21]Peta Hoyes: but ultimately everything from here on out should be, you know, once we get past this big 8, 9 update should be pretty incremental and backward compatible. So they'll leave much smaller incremental shifts that happen.
[00:06:33] Kelly Booz: Yeah. I mean, it's, it's it's actually kind of exciting too, because, you know, Drupal 7 is end of life-ing, and unfortunately at least that timeline of the end of life was pushed back a little bit because it's given us a little more wiggle room on the site redesign and upgrade. But it really allows us to pause and take some time to reflect on. What works, where, the pain points are, what changes we can make.
[00:07:00] You know, whether it's, you know, more of a front end redesign and theming but also, you know, all the great stuff that I get to discover soon on this. I am more familiar with Drupal 8, but whatever it's coming on, the Drupal 9 side of things. So. That is, that is exciting because it has allowed us to do some user interviews from a variety of different constituencies and members that use our site for different reasons to get their feedback in terms of how do we, how do we make this even better?
[00:07:31] Peta Hoyes: Right. And just hitting sweet spots for those users that necessarily aren't they, that there's stuff there, but they didn't know there was stuff there for them necessarily. That's a huge change.
[00:07:42] Kelly Booz: We've got great content, but they didn't know it was there. So we've got to figure out how to make sure that they can find that great content.
[00:07:48] Michael Meyers: So the tools and technology to help an ever-increasing user base find what they're looking for to help your teams internally administer. And, you know, and, and run this site sort of like the back office of the system, you know, some, some underlying technology improvements. What about new audiences?
[00:08:12] You know you know, one of the things we talked about earlier in one of the previous segments is, you know, parents are coming to this new content creators coming to this you know, professional development for teachers, you know, this has, you know, it's awesome to see how this has expanded beyond its mission and is serving so much value to all these different people.
[00:08:31] Do you want to continue growing into new audiences? You know, how do you foresee, you know, the future of this platform?
[00:08:39] Kelly Booz: Yeah. And then this is a great question. I think one of the you know, I mentioned earlier of how do we make a stronger connection with the American Federation of Teachers? I mean, so, you know, we've already, one thing that we haven't talked about on previous episodes is that another really valuable part of the site is our resources for our AFT members.
[00:08:58] Now, again, Share My Lessons open to everybody, whether you're an AFT or non AFT member, but we've got these sections that are affiliates. So they're essentially like local, you know, your local union within your school district. Local affiliate pages or state affiliate pages where, you know, a local affiliate or a state affiliate may approach us frequently and say, Hey, I really want to have a private community or an open community. And I need resources for my members that are related to this particular standard or this particular evaluation system or this particular content area. So our affiliate lead will work with them to create these content areas and put them on the site.
[00:09:44] So one of the things With the site design. I mean, we're going to continue to build on those affiliates, but just making, making those resources for affiliates and AFT members for, for somebody to come to their site and say, Oh gosh, this is, this is for me, I'm a teacher. This is for me. Or, Oh, my local union has these, this content.
[00:10:02] Or I'm, you know, I'm a support staff. And, you know, I can find that these are all constituencies of the AFT. So, you know, sharing and finding this content , in their particular area is, is important to us.
[00:10:15] Michael Meyers: You guys you know, have such an amazing and important mission. It's great that you have that relationship with the users of the system.
[00:10:23] You know, you can really say listen to them, have that relationship, build it out based on their needs. So I'm really excited to see where this goes, Kelly, Peta, thank you both for joining us. Really appreciate it. And if you haven't checked out segment one, the intro background and segment two, all of the amazing rapid growth to success please check them out.
[00:10:46] We'll put them in the show notes below as well with all the other links and whatnot that we mentioned. If you like this talk, please remember to upvote, subscribe and share it with everybody, you know, check out past Tag1 Team Talk at Tag1.com/tagteamtalks as always we'd love your feedback and input.
[00:11:04] We'd love to hear, you know your thoughts on today's show. Ideas.on future shows. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And again, a huge thank you Kelly for joining us, Peta as well. Thank you. Really appreciate it. We'll see everybody soon. Take care. Cheers.
[00:11:21] Kelly Booz: Thank you.