Teach for America is a non-profit organization working to close the educational achievement gap by enlisting recent college graduates to teach in low-income communities.
In 2015, its Bay Area regional office sought to replace its hodgepodge of spreadsheets, email blasts, and shared folders with a new workflow system that would make it easier for staff to support active teachers. It wanted a custom web application, but believed this was out of reach due to the cost and time of traditional software development.
However, that changed when it was discovered that the no-code tool Bubble could design what they wanted for a fraction of the cost of traditional development. In 2015, Teach for America partnered with Airdev to build a custom no-code internal hub that has expanded over the years to do so much more.
Struggling with version control, lack of personalization, and document management across its network of platforms, Teach for America sought to create a custom internal workflow tool that could do the following:
However, all of its internal tech resources were busy and hiring a contract software developer to build this would be too expensive. Teach for America believed creating a network of Google Sheets was its only option for managing workflows on its budget.
Luckily, a former employee suggested the no-code app development platform Bubble as a more flexible and fast alternative. Teach for America could design exactly what it wanted (interface + business logic) and achieve it in a fraction of the time and cost of hiring a contract developer.
But despite the flexibility and accessibility of Bubble’s no-code platform, Teach for America needed help building a tool that would meet their robust list of specific requirements.
That’s where Airdev stepped in.
Airdev translated Teach for America’s vision and robust list of tool requirements into detailed functional product specifications, wireframes, and success metrics. With this, the development team used its rapid and iterative process to build a fully functional product in Bubble — in just 4 weeks and on budget.
Named the “Teacher Hub”, this first iteration of the tool allowed staff to monitor teachers’ progress along a range of KPIs to determine where their efforts would be best spent providing support.
The web app was built and deployed with the following structure:
After the launch, Airdev established a consistent team to implement further app iterations. This included prioritizing features from Teach for America’s roadmap and collaborating to improve the functionality and user experience over time.
Based on the success of the original app, Teach for America and Airdev have continued a close partnership. This has allowed the internal hub to expand and evolve to meet changing demands and solve efficiency challenges – including helping staff better support teachers at every stage of their journey.
Since 2015, the following new portals have been added to the Teacher Hub:
Today, Teach for America's app consists of dozens of pages and hundreds of workflows, including thousands of users, nearly 50,000 tasks assigned, and tens of thousands of updated metrics. With this, they can continue to help incoming corps members through every stage of their journey, from their onboarding and all the way through their training and placement.
Each component of the Hub enables Teach For America’s staff members to collect data from corps members and external partners seamlessly, and use it to make decisions about how to best allocate resources. This leads to better teacher preparation and support, which helps facilitate better student outcomes.
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