I am putting together a conference presentation on using ning in the classroom and and I am looking for examples to use. Have other educators marvel at what you are doing with social networking in your school. You can post a link here are send it to edtech.jim@gmail.com.
I created a ning at edtechleaders.ning.com and I am building a classroom ning at lpevcprep.ning.com

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Ive just introduced a social network for my school and it is working fantastic. So far 3 quarters of the school staff and students are members and there is some really good things happening.

Have used the Blog feature and assessed students on their responses, the good thing is all members can view the posts and learning becomes shared

Have chased up work and other organisational things via private messages and the comment wall

Created groups and had students in individual classes join the groups. Used the groups as basis for posting information about assessments and test dates etc. Some of my classes have also submited work via the feature

Ebedded a google calendar on the main page with all the schools events and important dates, this ties in well with the events tab

Using it to upload the daily bulletin for our school

Included RSS feeds through the text box feature which the kids love as they receive their news in addition to coming to the site

Although these are all excellent the best thing about a social network is it allows the staff to build positive relationships with the students, which is the biggest winner by a longshot. If thats all it does then its worthwhile

Hope this helps
Thanks Jarrod, you Aussies are doing great work.
Dear Jim,

We are using Ning.com for a student current events forum. Almost all upper level (11&12 grade history students) at Westtown School, Westtown, PA participate. Students choose an article (news, columns, editorials are all fair game) read it, write a summary, analysis and reaction, and post it within the "Westtown History Classroom" social network at Historyclass.ning.com. Other students comment! I experimented with this last year with one section and now rather than a pool of 18 students to read and comment we have 74+. Each teacher has a slightly different assessment method and number of original posts and comments. (in my student's case there are limits to using US news sources as well as the bbc.com, they have to post 2X a trimester and comment 5X) The kids are engaging in great discussions. We are beginning to discuss the possiblity of inviting another school (perhaps outside of the US) to join with us in the spring.

Margaret Haviland
Jim, I glanced at your classroom ning and had a thought. I think you can get ad-free nings for education, but I'm not sure.
Last spring one of our 8th grade US History teachers at my previous school did a fantastic activity where each one of his students took on the role of figure from the US civil rights era. He called it the "Civil Rights Era Facebook" project. Students engaged in discussions and other virtual interactions (posting photos, videos, completing polls, etc) using the 1st person point of view of their figure. They had to "friend" others in the community that they would've friended in the physical world (for example, ML King wouldn't have friended Malcolm X, as they had different approaches and philosophies on the movement).

Anyway, the network that they used may be browsed online here: http://civilrightsfacebook1.ning.com/

Pretty neat project done by one of the best teachers I have ever worked with.
What a wonderful project. I've visited some great Web 2.0 projects focusing on primary sources. I've visited a ning that focused on the 1950s, I've seen blogs "written" by Harriett Tubman and written as someone who lived through the 1906 San Francisco fire. These projects, IMHO, raise the bar for critical thinking, synthesis, analysis, and evaluation.
Take a look at http://edtech.ning.com/, which one of my grad student put together.
Hi Jim -

I have used ning as a historical social network for my 8th graders in the areas of the Constitutional Convention and the Civil Rights Movement. Students are assigned roles and create "facebook" pages, completing a profile, adding postings to forums, posting photos and videos, and using the platform to "become" the role. Most kids love it.

You can check out examples at http://constitutionalconvention2.ning.com/ and http://civilrightsfacebook1.ning.com/. Let me know if you have any questions. Matt Montagne already commented on one of the facebooks below.
check out the comment two up ;-)
I'd really like to interview you for a book I'm doing on Web 2.0. Can we set up a phone or email interview?
Bill Kist

These both blogs are absolutely great :) I will show them to our History teachers and use simmilar idea for my next blog. Thank you.
I created the "Great Debate of 2008" project to provide middle and high school students from around the country with a forum to explain and discuss issues related to this year's presidential election. Participating students contribute information on campaign issues to the Great Debate of 2008 wiki and discuss the campaign in the Great Debate of 2008 online social network. At the Ning network students start & contribute to discussions, participate in online polls, meet students in other states, and submit multimedia materials. Several students created videos for the project and I am very happy that students have taken ownership of both the wiki and the online social network. As of today (election day) there are 146 Great Debate 2008 members representing eight states; the project runs for one more week.

Project information and student work is up on the wiki:
Great Debate of 2008 wiki: http://greatdebate2008.wikispaces.com/

The Great Debate of 2008 online social network is private, but I am happy to invite you if you'd like to look around: http://greatdebate2008.ning.com/

FYI, I was interviewed about the project for an EdTechTalk webcast: http://edtechtalk.com/21cl_82



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