Have you joined your friends in Ning! yet?

Recently one of my school colleagues, Jan, wrote about Ning on our blog Bibliosphere News – alerting all of a new ‘MySpace-like’ environment that is being explored by educators. As our schools are particularly interested in emerging Web 2.0 tools, she encouraged us to…

Have a look at Steve Hargadon’s School 2.0 social network and see a social network in the making. He’s using Ning, a social network builder, and then look at Bill Drew’s very active Library 2.0 network (includes school libraries but not confined to education).

Certainly Library 2.0 has a great pool of members, (up to 850 the other day) and it will be interesting to see how this develops, and what it offers that is different to blogs and blogging. Like all social networking sites, Ning incorporates flexible ways of communicating and sharing information – easily! I can communicate with my friends, keep track of a number of Ning networks, and use it to create projects of my own.

It is worthwhile checking out Library2.0, Classroom2.0, School2.0 and SecondLife Librarians which is just starting up. There are others too, and (as usual) you can easily find networks of interest via the spiderweb of networks of your friends! (I must say I am not running a seperate blog in each of these – and one of the things I would like is the flexibility to link my blog from each of my networks if I wanted to?)

I really like the use of Ning by the StopCyberbullying network. A beautifully crafted use of Web 2.0 tools to collaborate on this important topic. Great use of Feed Digest to provide the body of content from all the resources that members of the Network have identified as valuable on this topic.

I have already planned to use Ning for a Learnscope project – which will provide the collaborative professional learning environment for teachers involved in VTE Information Technology at Year 11.

LearnScope focuses on work-based staff development. The beauty of LearnScope is that it enables participants to design what, where, when and how their learning will take place during the life of the project (6 months June – November). LearnScope moves beyond traditional expert-centred professional development models to focus on relevant, participant-driven opportunities.

The flexibility of Ning to allow each of the teachers to maintain a blog and share the their own reflections in this environment is a powerful option for this project. In addition, it is easy to share video and photo files, links and other files; embedd other Web 2.0 API such as bookmark tag clouds, clusty search cloud, Google calendar, or whatever; have good threaded discussion in the Forum; have quick comments with chatter……and more! This has got to be a great environment for expert-centred virtual, 21st century professional development.

But as the spruker says  ….  that’s not all!

The one thing I was missing was a wiki…not that it is hard to create and link to a wiki as they have done in Classroom2.0 linking to Classroom 2.0 Wiki.

So the email from BillDrew@Library20.ning (yes, you get an email account as well) was most welcome:

Coming in June, the network will have a wiki component added to it. It is currently in development by Ning programmers. I will add a feature on the main page to spotlight a service or a new tool such as javascripts. Please send me items and ideas for such a feature.

Catch yourself some good movies added to Ning via TeacherTube or FlipShare.

Building an Online Community

Sheep may Safely Graze

Go meet someone new in Ning! today!

1 thought on “Have you joined your friends in Ning! yet?

  1. Watching carefully.

    Others are asking ‘ I was wondering do you know of a wiki site where a teacher is using it as a collection point for URLs to students’ evidence, in other social spaces, like bebo, or facebook etc, especially if it’s in a practical type subject area, or perhaps in schools with young kids? …..”

    http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/bestof.html – lets work out how Dana made it work.

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