Hey Everyone -
A year or two ago, during the early stages of my foray into
2.0 applications, I was introduced to a web site that I really didn't
quite get called Ning.
My vague recollection of the original Ning was that one could create various
items to share with others such as a list of books. I recall exploring it a bit,
not finding it particularly user friendly or compelling, and setting it aside
for other Web 2.0 tools.
Hargadon revived my interest in Ning last spring. Using Ning, he created two
online communities that I joined, and I found that this social networking tool
had completely changed since my initial exploration. In a nutshell, anyone can
create a customized space online, make it public or private, and invite others
to participate via threaded discussions, the sharing of multimedia, and posting
of blog entries. Ning communities can be further embellished with all sorts of
web widgets that are available from third party developers as well.
I am fascinated by how quickly Steve's
2.0 Ning caught on. Since March 2007, nearly 3000 educators have joined this
group which focuses on using Web 2.0 tools
Docs & Spreadsheets are examples of this). For some reason the format
put forth by Ning seems conducive to participation by others. Several worthwhile
communities have since developed and I thought I'd share them with you this
I think Ning is a powerful tool because it makes it easy for educators to take
charge of their professional development by interacting virtually with other
like-minded souls. For instance, I've had answers to questions within hours,
been directed to great edtech resources, philosophized with online colleagues
about the state of education, and even met many of my fellow "friends" on Ning
in person at conferences. My personal network has grown substantially because of
Keep your eye on Ning as it is still being developed and additional features are
frequently announced. Recently, Steve started another group that focuses just on
the uses of Ning within education. Ning wasn't necessarily developed as an
education tool, but it seems teachers have found their Ning experiences
worthwhile and are eager to try it out in their classrooms. Something has to be
done about advertising within Ning sites before I will try it out with younger
students, but in the meantime, it's a great tool for working with adults or
maybe even high schoolers.
I hope you'll check out the following Ning groups and consider joining one or
two! Let me know if you know of any other good Nings!
1) School 2.0
This is one of Steve Hargadon's original Ning sites and it focuses on rethinking
schools under 21st century terms.
2) Classroom 2.0
Here's a very active group in which people explore the use of emerging
technologies in education.
3) Ning in Education
4) Global Education Collaborative
Yes, this is a shameless plug for a Ning that I started and have been nurturing.
If you're interested in global education related topics, this is the Ning for
you. Many educators from around the world have joined this adventure and are in
need of global collaborative partners. If you are looking for resources,
projects, and ideas, this is the place for you! We will be holding our first
online meeting this Sunday evening CST.
Email me if
you're interested in participating.
5) Literacy Coaches
Matthew Needleman's new literacy site is designed to support coaches in his
district using the Open Court reading series, but it is open to everyone and
growing! Literacy coaching is a fairly new concept to me and I'm interested in
it as its practiced in my new set of schools.
6) Open Education
Learn more about Open University's open source courses and materials here.
7) Library 2.0
A plethora of librarians have gathered here to share ideas and resources.
8) Learning 2.0 Conference
This event is taking place right now in Shanghai. Isn't is amazing how we can
now follow along and learn virtually? This is the Ning that interests me the
most right now!