Why I Love Yammer!

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

I love my job and have a passion for what I do, to me, it is not work. I love sharing ideas and having discussion with others, that is why I was glad I was introduced to Yammer by my districts technology coordinators.  They explained to me that Yammer was similar to Twitter but for our school district only. After talking with them they inspired me to at least give it a try and I am so glad I did as Yammer  has changed my teaching life. Here are three reasons how Yammer has changed me as an educator.

The first reason I love Yammer is because my educational philosophy is to create a positive 21st century learning environment for students; setting the stage for their entire academic life. Teaching a rich, meaningful, and well balanced curriculum of skills and concepts through age appropriate activities, I feel will encourage children to want to become life long learners. I believe in building upon a child’s curiosity and encourage them to pursue new knowledge. Yammer has helped me follow my philosophy because I can be apart of different groups that share my same interests. I can belong to a problem based learning group and share ideas with teachers that have the same interest as me. I can also have the freedom to create these groups. I don’t need someone mandating my interests. I have created several groups based on my needs, wants, interests and passions that others with the same interests can join. I have learned so much from these discussions and they have made me a better educator. One of my favorite groups is the iPad group where we share apps we like along with articles about how we can use iPads in the classroom to better meet the needs of our students. I have joined groups because I didn’t know a lot about the topic such as gamification a group for sharing research and resources as well as discussing the educational value of games in facilitating student learning. Without Yammer, I wouldn’t have explored this topic to see what it was all about.

The second reason I love using Yammer is because it has introduced me to people in my district. I have ‘met’ the most amazing teachers who I never would have met if it wasn’t for this social site! It is great to see what other teachers are trying and exploring in their classrooms. It has become a great Personal Learning Network (PLN) for me! I can follow anyone in the district from teachers to facilitators to administrators. I am not bound to just my school’s PLN. One of my favorite parts as well is that it’s not just elementary but I can see what is happening in middle and high schools so I can start seeing the larger vertical alignment.  There is a high school sociology teacher that I follow. I know nothing aboutsociology for High schoolers but that doesn’t matter because we still use the same best practices and have the same passion for learning that has made us become virtual friends.

The third thing I love about Yammer is how and what I can post. It is convenient for me because there is an app for your iPad and iPhone. I can be sitting waiting for a meeting to start and I can hop on quickly and see what I have missed or I can post. I also am a huge fan of Twitter for educational purposes. I can read an article, post to twitter and yammer at the same time by just using a hashback #yam. So I have now just shared this great article with not only my global PLN but also my district in one click. Before I would of just read the article and maybe told a friend about what I read. Now I can share with anyone, anywhere that have the same passion for education as I do.

Without Yammer, I wouldn’t know what other teachers outside my school were doing. Being in a larger school district (20th in the nation) Yammer has opened many doors for not only myself but for our district. If you do not have it for your district, I highly recommend looking into it.

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Comments on: "Why I Love Yammer!" (8)

  1. I hope this school is for senior students. Yammer is NOT a place for children – only for mature adults (“enterprise social network”). It is against Yammer’s Terms of Service (TOS) to serve children under 13 years of age, between 13-18 years old you must have parental permmission. The disadvantages have not been discussed:

    It can also lead to the detriment pupils’ education.
    >Yammer makes file distribution convenient as there no limit; one must see the possible increase in plagiarism of assignments.
    >With the ability of sending private messages and group chatting, the accumulative distraction of one’s learning effects all.
    >As a result of Yammer being available on many platforms (mobiles + computers); it intensifies the students’ capability of cheating.
    >Consequently, this will encourage students to use mobile phones during class, mischievously claiming: “Teacher told me to download podcast/doc/pdf/etc.”
    These are just some of the reasons that led Facebook and other social networking websites being blocked at school.

    Yammer is not designed for children, once introduced, the dangers of cyber-bulling and other distractions have exponentially increased.

    • I am sorry I did not make myself clear but it is only for educators not the student population. I approved your comment so people do realize the disadvantages if used with children.

    • Although i’m a little late to this string, i had to chime in. the negative effects of student use listed above are not deniable, and are valid points. however the benefits of using a private social network tool to increase the connection and involvement b/w teacher/student/PARENT shoudl not be overlooked. the question should be if Yammer could be make the necessary changes to create an elementary/secondary unique platform seperate from its enterprise platform. See Edmodo.. Increasing the communication b/w teachers and parents and enabling students to PRODUCTIVELY and SECURELY utilize a social network platform in a private environment could be immensely beneficial to not only traditional educational requirements but to 21st century skills as well.

      Don’t shoot holes in innovation…find ways to make it work!

      • The ideas about strengthening the relationship between Teacher/Parent/Student are also valid points. How this increases the connection may be seen through The Chilling effect; where students online records (posts and information) can be constantly monitored by the adults ANYWHERE, ANYTIME. On the public internet, there is never a 100% GUARANTEED SECURE network.

        I’ve witnessed the trial of Yammer and other social networking “tools” in education towards the end of 2012.

        Throughout 2012, some students have been praising teachers online “Mr. S is the best”, as in sucking up or has been posting anonymous and offensive posts that has led to disruptions in Students’ learning trying to find the culprit. Beware: Distraction has a new form.

        Its become an assignment on its own for Teachers/Parents/Students to remember which class is using which website. Some teachers enjoy Yammer, some log in to another site or use the existing Intranet, some not tech savvy enough – given the openness of the Internet, people can choose what they want to do.

        This leads to another point I’ve discovered in 2012: Teachers also being distracted.
        Whether is playing around with the site (choosing a great profile picture), talking to their Colleagues about their weekend (where students can read – Chilling effect again) … the boundaries of what is acceptable is blurred.

        Email (eg. Google Wave) and live editing e-docs (eg Google Docs) is where productivity (and collaboration) is at. The initial idea of social networks was for people to meet – faster. Sharing thoughts was what people did after, and that was how someone thought about incorporating social media in education. You see, the idea of social media wasn’t design as a learning tool, and that is why I believe Facebook/Yammer/etc is for leisure.
        “Log In, Drop out”

  2. Thanks for this article. It is always helpful to hear stories of how new technology is being used.

    While I am not a teacher, nor have any experience with use of technology in a classroom. My experience with any new technology, like social media, is that it is not a negative thing and it does not cause any of the issues in chyeah’s comment. Applications like Yammer only surface what is already there. In a school, business, communities, etc. So yes, if there are problems of plagerism, disctractions, cheating, excessive use technology, and bullying, then using an application like this will probably be used for all of those things. Using, or withholding, tools like Yammer do not solve problems as mentioned above, be it in a school or business, for children or adults.

    Just like the telephone, email, cell phones, the internet, social applications can be used for negative reasons and, as I am finding, very positive reasons. If these applications are becoming the new communication technology it seems like we need to at least be thinking about how to teach the next generation how to use these tools, and how to use them well.

    • Sites like Yammer will INCREASE the occurrences of “plagiarism, distractions, cheating, excessive use technology,” because it opens a new avenue to accommodate these wrong-doings. It’s axiomatic to minimise this.

      I am a student who have observed these things and I do not wish to see them again. That’s why I created a School Web Portal that reflect our school’s values – without the nasty Yammer bits made for older users. I can freely change anything, disable features during exams… basically the real online home for students.
      I’m not against new technology, as web developer I am constantly creating and discovering new things.

      Although there are some benefits, the average immaturity of children may try to exploit them (eg EASIER file sharing ability – copy assignments from ANYWHERE, chat ANYTIME – even during tests).

      Therefore Yammer should never be used at school by students, just like mobile phones have been prohibited in class.

  3. [...] Why I Love Yammer! [...]

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