AS PART OF A CORE GROUP of third level lecturers who want to accelerate collaboration, I'm trying to make Yammer work inside a third level institution while connected at the fringes of Office 365. But because I can't see group work things in Yammer's snappy app, it appears the collaborative effort will succeed only when working with friends on desktops.
I'm comparing my local experience with Yammer with quick-hitting actions using Slack. I can use Slack with students because Slack's project tracking and notifications set the bar for keeping activities moving towards common goals. My third level students are ruthless when it comes to rowing in behind group work. If an element of the common project goes off the boil, the entire project often deflates. I also enjoy lurking inside the DalkeyOpen channel on Slack because I get inside information about tech there.
I've become accustomed to complementing my daily workflow with timely notifications driven by apps. Unfortunately, I cannot get Yammer to provide that kind of in-hand prompting because the single log-on service fails to quickly validate my credentials. Instead, I'm bumped out of the log-on screen and that means I use a browser view of Yammer's in-box on my mobile phones. This looks like it's a problem at Microsoft's end.
Yammer's log-in screen works effortlessly for people using Samsung Notes and Windows Phones. I think I'll take a Lumia 1020 out of mothballs and enjoy the Yammer experience with it.
I'm sure all the little snags will work themselves out and I'm not backing away from Yammer because the initial buzz is a combination of sharing real project work and connecting with collegial enthusiasm. So I've logged my concerns and we'll see how things evolve.
But the Yammer app has to work for remote teams to effectively collaborate.
The bulk of my project work is already nested inside OneNote. I use OneNote Online, Classroom OneNote and the OneNote app religiously. My best days start by tapping OneNote to see what's been synced and shared by students and fellow lecturers.
For the sake of second level teachers who want to see OneNote complement classroom activities, I've decided to continue powering my blog with OneNote as well as running OneNote as a core element of each of the five modules I teach in the Limerick Institute of Technology. I can count on ruthless blowback from students so I know everything I'm trying to do with newly available Office 365 assets will get a scrubbing down by clever creatives who never let technology get in their way.
I'm also sharing my short perspectives with Yammer, OneNote and One Drive on social networks where I appear as @topgold.
** Bernie Goldbach is the senior drone pilot and creative multimedia lecturer at the Limerick Institute of Technology.