I have recently discovered Nings, social networking sites for people of similar interests. You can see a few of my Ning memberships in my sidebar — the Website Owner Zone, Twitter GoGetters, etc. Nings are great platforms for communicating with other people who share your passions, to share links to great sites, to announce events and conferences, and more. You can also start your own blog on these Nings, or cross-post from your blog to the Ning for others to read.
Each of these social networks was created by someone who signed up for an account on Ning, created a network, and then invited in friends, colleagues, and/or students to interact around specific educational topics.
There are dozens of Nings out there for educators, so I thought I’d share a few with you and encourage you to explore them and think about joining. You can get email updates once you become a member and it’s a useful way to share best practices in education.
1. The Global Education Collaborative
This is an online community for teachers and students who are interested in joining global education projects. With more than 800 members, the site encourages users to post media, blogs, and ideas for advancing collaborative education worldwide. Some of the groups-within-the-group include “Global Awareness Curriculum,” “Student-Driven Podcasts,” and “Primary Teachers Collaborating.”
2. Classroom 2.0
This is a social network for those interested in Web 2.0 and collaborative technologies in education.
“Beginners” are encouraged to become “part of the digital dialog”. This is a very active Ning, with more than 13,000 members and lots of resources designed for digitally savvy teachers and administrators.
3. School 2.0
This Ning describes its purpose as “a larger discussion of how education, learning, and our physical school spaces can (or should) change because of the changing nature of our social and economic lives brought on by these technologies.” There is also a wiki associated with the site, which you can find at www.School20.net.
4. Independent School Educators Network
This 1,200-member network shares tips and share best practices in classroom technology. It also has a list-serv you can subscribe to at ISED list-serv, the SchoolComputing Wiki, an ISE group on Flickr, and join in the conversation at EdTechTalk.com.
5. Ning in Education
A general education Ning with more than 2,000 members. If you’re looking for a place to share general information, tips and to seek out advice, this is the place to go.
6. Coming of Age
This site was established to enable people to meet and discuss “Coming of Age: An Introduction to the NEW Worldwide Web,” an ebook about blogging, podcasting, and other applications, and how they can be used in the classroom. You can also get your free copy of the eBook at this Ning site.
7. Smart Board Revolution
An example of how specific Ning groups can be. This 500-member community shares best practices, tips, ideas and lesson plans on using interactive whiteboards in the classroom. A great idea.
8. Teachers 2.0
This Ning of more than 200 members who help one another to learn and use technology tools ranging from PowerPoint to Web 2.0.
The good news is that if you haven’t found a Ning to your exact liking, you can start one of your own. And Ning has recently launched an ad-free platform specifically for educators.
Here’s a very tool video about setting up a Ning, geared specifically for educators, from falconphysics on YouTube: