Mindset Learn

Mindset Learn supports learners and teachers in formal schooling with a focus on Grades 10, 11 and 12 and the Maths, Sciences, Social Sciences and Finance clusters of subjects.

Overview

Mindset Learn is provided directly to thousands of schools and individuals via DVDs, Video-on-Demand and Mindset free-to-air broadcast. The Mindset Learn TV channel is also available to 3.5 million homes in Africa via DStv, StarSat, OpenviewHD and Freevision.

Why Drupal was chosen

Mindset came to us to redevelop their existing site and turn it into a well structured and searchable portal of learning resources for schools and learners. The system integrates and synchronizes with the 3rd party Entermedia digital asset management system, Youtube API, Apache Solr as well as provides social sign in and user profile management.

Drupal was a natural choice for Mindset as they already had a suite of older Drupal 6 websites, which were in the process of being upgraded from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7.

Project goals and requirements

A user friendly, easy to navigate & media rich website which supports the Mindset Learn TV channel by providing various resources to learners, teachers and parents. The resources are managed via an external 3rd party digital asset management system (DAMS) and pushed to various channels. The website automates “consumption” of these assets, via various custom Feeds Fetcher & Parser plugins that implement the asset management system’s REST API.

Outcome

  1. Social Media sign-in, registration and ability to link multiple social identities to a user account.

  2. User profile and mailing list subscription management.

  3. Automated one-way synchronization of various digital assets between Drupal and DAMS.

  4. YouTube API integration (player, voting, views etc.)

  5. Category navigation defined in DAMS and synchronized to Drupal taxonomy.

  6. Make use of Apache Solr search integration to provide better search capabilities, including indexing PDF content.

  7. Easy to use animated slideshow on front page.

  8. Use of panels so content admins can easily create new pages and layouts.

  9. ShareThis

  10. Fully responsive front-end suitable for a wide range of devices/screens.

Key modules, theme & distribution used

  • Theme: Bootstrap 3 for Drupal custom sub-theme.

  • Feeds

  • Mailman

  • Panels, Fieldable Panel Panes, Semantic Panels

  • Display Suite

  • Video Embed

  • Profile2, HybridAuth

  • Rules

  • Search API, Solr Search, Facet API, Search API attachments, Search Views

  • Views

  • Voting API

Why we used these

Some modules like views & panels were natural choices as the client was already familiar with them. Others, like Feeds and Apache Solr were chosen as they are very well architectured, designed to be extended, well documented and just do what they’re supposed to without much fuss.

Then there are those, like HybridAuth, that were selected through trial and error to find the ones that provided the most robust solution in their category.
Writing some custom code is unavoidable for a complex project like this, but limiting this code as far as possible to well defined extensible architectures like Feeds, with it’s importer & parser plugins, ensure the custom code is well structured and easily maintained.

It gives me great pleasure to write this letter of recommendation for Media Machine. Media Machine was selected by Mindset Network through a competitive procurement process to develop a new Drupal based website for the organisation. This website can be found at http://learn.mindset.co.za.

Media Machine was highly professional in its execution of our requirements delivering on brief, on time and on budget The team was highly responsive to our needs and requests and it was a pleasure working with them.

Initially, Media Machine was only contracted to provide software development services, but was willing and able to step in at the last moment to provide high quality responsive interface design and development services as well.
Mindset is extremely satisfied with the end product and unreservedly recommends Media Machine for any turnkey web application design and development project.

- Dylan Busa - Schooling Executive - Mindset Learn

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