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|Yahoo! Teachers logo|
Type of site
|Social network service|
|Launched||Beta March 2007|
Yahoo! Teachers was a social networking service operated by Yahoo! made available in 2007. It enabled teachers to share lesson plans, curated web search results, the ability to share learning materials with parents and students, maintain blogs, groups and lists, create and share lesson plans with other teachers and create a public profile.
In addition, Yahoo! Teachers provided a way for teachers to easily align their lesson plans to their state educational standards. This service was never officially launched; Yahoo! prematurely stopped developing this service in March 2007.
Yahoo! Teachers was developed as part of an internal Yahoo! Digital Youth & Education initiative designed to attract a younger demographic to the aging portal. In addition to attracting youth, one of the goals of the project was to incorporate social networking and other Yahoo! services (Flickr, Jumpcut, Yahoo! Groups, Yahoo! Messenger into the education ecosystem. The service was built around the feedback of a teacher user community and enabled educators to create, modify and share standards-based curriculum.
One of the key features of Yahoo! Teachers was a web tool called "The Gobbler" which allowed users to grab snippets of text, video and images and use them in their lesson plans. The Gobbler tracked the attribution for the various media clips and annotated it at the bottom of the lesson plan.
The project was an internal start-up established with executive sponsorship and wasn't tied to a specific business unit at Yahoo! The project team first began working on the project in late 2005.
Yahoo! Teachers of Merit
In July 2006, Yahoo! invited a cadre of 100 teachers, media specialists, and librarians to come spend a week on the Yahoo! campus and talk about how teachers could leverage the technology and social media know-how at Yahoo! to support teachers in the classroom.
At the 10-day Yahoo! Teachers of Merit program teachers learned how to use all the latest Yahoo! services in an educational instruction: like image-sharing, effective and credible web searching, and making the most of online communities.
Participants were also given the opportunity to use the alpha version of Yahoo! Teachers (code named 'Hallpass') and provide feedback to Yahoo! on what features worked and didn't work for them in the classroom. After the participants left for the evening, a group of Yahoo! engineers (all volunteers) would take the feedback and write new code to incorporate the changes requested by the teachers. The engineering team also fixed the numerous software bugs that were reported during the previous day of the workshop.
Yahoo! Teachers Tour
In the summer of 2007, Yahoo! Teachers Beta version was introduced to educators across the country at social media workshops held at various colleges around the United States. The workshops focused on teaching educators how to use various Yahoo! services in the classroom. The workshops also introduced the Yahoo! Teachers and Gobbler tools to educators and provided them with a day long, hands on experience with the service.
Yahoo! Teachers workshops were held at the University of San Diego, University of Chicago, University of Texas at Austin, Yahoo! HQ in New York City and on the floor of the 2007 National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) in Atlanta, Georgia. The workshops were directed and facilitated by members of the Yahoo! Teachers team, including: Karon Weber, Derek Baird and Bill Scott.