“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.