I've been holding back on working with elgg for the past few months because the developers have been working on a vast overhaul of how it works. Elgg is a free and open source social networking application for education that has many similarities to MySpace.

I just got into their test installation to help them iron out all the bugs. I must say I am impressed. I never quite "got" how elgg works until they gave me a user login. I always viewed it from an admin role before.

The developers hope to release the code in less than two weeks--presumably as beta software. I hope to have my own deployment in time for school in September. I'll continue to reflect on my experiences on my blog. You will find more links and information there.

Steve

Tags: elgg, networking, oss, social

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Developer Dave Tosh has given me permission to release screen shots of the elgg 1.0 user interface. I'll be posting them as created on my blog.
Hi Steve,

I've seen the screen shots to Elgg and it looks impressive, however, it looks like it'll be awhile before any of us can get our hands on it. I've been looking for a solution that would really incorporate student interaction on a more social level and less academic, but keeping the academic structure in place for administrative reasons. Do you have any other suggestions Steve?
You could always use elgg 0.9.1

I wouldn't be surprised to see a beta 1.0 out within a couple weeks or less.

Steve
What would Ning have to add to meet the "administrative" requirements?
Repeal CIPA and allow kinds under 13 to use it would meet my requirements.

Unfortunately, Ning and many other hosted solutions are a total no go for elementary students.

Elgg is somewhat of a different bird though as it completely begins with the individual and works up to other groupings: 100% bottom up.

Steve
HI Steve,

I realize that this is about a year ago, but I'm researching the educational value of SNSs and happened onto this product and your comments on it. I'm particularily interested in its potential use for a 13 and under crowd. (I teach 4th grade.) Can you elaborate on it being "100% bottom up" and thus perhaps usable by that group.

Thanks, Josh
http://www.joshpaluch.com
Steve,

Do you see elgg as a possible application for an employee intranet? A place for teachers to gather, communicate, collaborate, etc.
Absolutely. The previous version had "walled garden" settings, so I presume the new version will. In fact, that is how the closed beta is set up now.

They appear to be making great strides on tweaking the engine and the interface. Speaking optimistically, I think may be reasonable to see the code released by the end of this month.

Steve
Great! I have not used Elgg before but I've been doing some research on it because we are looking into testing it as an intranet type thing. Nice posts and screenshots on your blog.
Thanks! I'll keep posting more in upcoming days.

You might want to try elgg 0.9.2 to get a feel for it while you wait for the release.

There is more information about 1.0 here. It's pretty technical stuff.
Melissa,
We're using a modified version of Elgg for 2 separate collaborative communities, one for students and one for teachers/administrators. The student one has really taken off. As it is with teachers, they are a little slower to implement the "collaborative landscape" than the students.
Those who wish to keep their posts within the community and not public can do so.
Check it out at:
http://community.saugususd.org/

Arlene
Arlene,

Are you hosting this on your own server internally or is it through the web? I think we were thinking that having the application on our own server would be a great option because it gives us more customizing options as well as the privacy and safety part. It would be great here about what your district is doing?

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