We have been experimenting with the use of Yammer with the specific intention of encouraging professional sharing and dialogue. Some staff have now made it part of their Professional reading routine to share material they find, or comment on material others find. Our school Yammer community is ‘closed’ available only to those invited who share a common email domain. This makes for a safe space where staff who may not have used online spaces before can practise in a confined and secure space. It operates in a similar way to Facebook – posts, comments etc.
Yammer is an Enterprise Social Network that brings together people, conversations, content, and business data in a single location. With Yammer, you can easily stay connected to coworkers and information, collaborate with team members and make an impact at work. And because Yammer can be easily accessed through a web browser or mobile device, you can connect and collaborate with coworkers anytime, anywhere.
We introduced the idea more than a year ago and it is slowly gaining momentum. Over the past year we have seen
- staff sharing blogs and websites they believe others will enjoy
- staff reviewing Professional learning opportunities they have attended
- many staff advertising class blog posts (some using the built in feature that allows a Tweet to automatically add to the Yammer feed (#yam)
- professional conversations about different educational issues.
- staff sharing their Personal Inquiry topics and findings.
As with any tech tool, some staff have taken to it more than others but I value the impact it has made with those who have become involved. We have a venue to share which is available anywhere, anytime and particularly useful for those part-time staff members who often miss out on Professional learning opportunities.