You might want to check out the http://education.ning.com site, which you'd probably love. Over 1,000 educators interested in using Ning in education.
The bad news right now is that while Ning would be AWESOME for elementary school children, their terms of service require that participants be 13 years of age or older. That's directly related to the COPPA legislation. :(
Thanks Steve! The site seems to be wonderful. After reading the Ning site announcement " NIng Announces Ad-free Program for K-12 Student Networks!", I thought I will be able to use it. My students are 1-5.
Yes, so sorry. We had to change that to 7 - 12 networks. But there is a lot of energy right now going into figuring out how to bring these benefits to younger students. I, for one, am very interested in it!
I had my students set their age at 18... and then change it again once they joined. With the teacher's as adminstrators controlling who has access to the network, I don't see why Ning's policy should stop you from wanting to use it for your class. It's a great tool... and the age thing is just an annoyance with an easy work around.
Andre, Hate to be a doomsayer but if your kids are not 13 they shouldn't be using ning. If anything ever happened--inappropriate language or images, bullying, cheating, copyright infringement, etc. and you have started the network where the infraction takes place you could lose your job or be sued. I'd rethink, N
Nancy, you just pointed the reason why I can't use it with my students.They are really young (8 to 10 years old). I had to hold my ning idea. I wish I could, I think it is very useful tool, but the risks with younger students is really high. Marcela
Marcela, it is so important to have good solid reasons to use any tool, tech or not. Ning doesn't do anything that can't be done with a blog and Moodle. It's our job to provide the instruction, guidance, but most importantly keep the kids safe and legal.