Social media has become such a large part of how we communicate and connect with people world wide. Just as we use social media platforms to engage and share with people in personal life, how often do we use effective online communication in our schools? Sure, we rely heavily on email as our main form of communication (something I call email fatigue), but often those `aha’ moments are never shared. Yammer in education is proving to be an effective platform for facilitating communication and collaboration among educators. Teachers have little time to open their classroom doors to showcase instructional practices and the `real’ learning that happens in the classroom. However, Yammer in education allows educators the opportunity to de-privatize classroom practice so that they can share their struggles, celebrate their insights, and make visible those `aha’ moments. To put this to the test, I started an Office 365 team site within our English Department and used the built in feature of the newsfeed (now Yammer), and the result of the online collaboration has been surprising. Teachers are using the Yammer feed to share ideas, thoughts, links to resources and reflections, and sometimes, just sharing those `aha’ moments.
At the core of an education in the 21st century is the need for continual ongoing conversation about what good teaching looks like. It is often those `aha’ moments that connects someone’s good idea, to collide with someone else’s idea, to make something great! It is about providing a structure to support and develop the `connected’ learner. For more information visit Yammer: https://about.yammer.com/product/office365/