OK - I think I have done really well to get this far. I have created my own page and have started my blog. But I don't really know what I am doing. Can anyone explain the difference between ning, wiki, podcast, and any others I've missed? I have broken my foot so missed some crucial workshops in the last couple of weeks where all of this would have been explained (typical - the only meetings/workshops I have actually wanted to attend in ages). Anyway, I am sure there are a lot of experts out that who would be delighted to share their knowledge and help me on track with setting up a social network for my students (aged 14-24). Any help would be much appreciated - but please keep it simple for my poor old brain.
Many thanks - Karen

Tags: I, Where, do, start

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Starting a Ning site would be a way of providing a social network for your learners, but you probably ought to have some ideas about what to do there, so that they have some activities to do. Classroom 2.0 is a Ning site, but as Ning sites tend to be private it's not easy to show you one. One is used in my college to promote discussions on topics and to show music and videos made by learners - it's for a music course. I guess that starting discussions and getting your learners to communicate as friends and commenters would be a start. As I work with skills for life and WBL, you might find my blog useful - it is here. Chris
Hi Chris - many thanks for your comments (and the link) - I have had a quick skim over your blog and, yes, I will find it very useful, as will my SfL tutors...... I am going to come back to it later when I can dedicate some time to reading everything.
I have just finished watching a presentation by a guy called Steve Hargaden on how to set up a ning social network - it was very good and extremely helpful. I think you are right though about promoting discussions and encouraging communication amongst students - obviously this will help with their wider key skills qualifications also.
Being a charity and working in PLP/WBL means that we are working with young people who are considerably disadvantaged when it comes to learning, so anything that can help.......
Thanks again - I look forward to future discussions.
Regards - Karen
Hi Karen,

Here's a couple of web-based resources that should be helpful:
One resource is Steve's Classroom 2.0 Resource Wiki.

Another is from a course last summer that I've used with my teachers and think it was posted here on CR2.0 a while back. I believe the instructor for the course was Alice Barr.

Two great books are:
web 2.0: new tools, new schools by Solomon and Schrum and Will Richardson's Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts....

Hope that helps!
Hi Edwin - thanks for this - I've actually found Steve (Hargadon) and have followed a course he did on creating a ning network which was extremely useful. However, thanks for the link as I will go and see what else he has. Thanks also for the other links - they are very useful.
Regards - Karen
I use a ning site for my Digital Communications class. Students are given a topic that they must respond to both my initial post and one of their classmates. Ning can be very much the social networking site, much like Myspace, but if yours is private then you have much more control. A podcast is an audio "discussion" (for lack of a better word) that can be posted online for others to listen to - much like an video posted on YouTube for watching, a podcast is for listening. A Wiki is a place that collaboration can occur, but they are pretty much either you like them or you don't. I took a workshop recently where the presenter LOVED Wikis, but at the end of the workshop when a poll was given, not one person listed Wikis as something they would use in their classrooms.

My suggestion for your setting up a Ning site of your own for your students is to list your Ning site as a public site, have your students join, and THEN make it private. Takes a few frustration steps out of the equation.
Hi Michal - thanks for your response - any chance you could let me know your Ning address so that I can go and have a look. It sounds like this is something I should be looking at. Thanks for the descriptions on the podcast and wiki and for your suggestions re public and private ning site - only problem is we have students leaving and joining all the time so would I have to make it public again everytime a new student wanted to join? Also, is it customary to remove someone once they have left your educational establishment? Regards - Karen
Hi Karen,

Creating a podcast means recording your voice and uploading. My students shared about their maths projects in the form of a podcast. Here is the link.

Have fun!
Hi Rashmi - thanks for your response. I now (sort of) understand podcasting but I went to you link and couldn't really understand what to do next (dohhhh). Various things needed to be downloaded and I am assuming one of these is the recording? Regards - Karen
Having your own blog is fantastic. Do your students enjoy it?

My one piece of advice is "don't try to do everything". You will wind up like those travelers who try to see the whole world, but end up with nothing more than a tick-list of monuments visited. So one thing at a time, and keep your focus on your students. They will be your best guides.
Hi Ian
Thanks for your sound advice - I must admit, there seem to be so many "things" out there, but a lot are very similar and it is picking out the good ones that is the difficult bit. I will take your advice and concentrate on small (baby) steps to start with. I will involve the students once I have set it up - perhaps they will enjoy tutoring myself and my staff in what to do.
Regards - Karen



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