Has anyone tried using Ning with students as a social networking/writing space? I would be most interested in knowing how it went, if it has happened, as I am considering this platform (along with Elgg) for a big online writing space for middle school students. The past two years, we have used Manila blogs and, uhhh, too complicated and didn't do what we wanted.

So if you have used social networking with students, could you give me some advice?


Tags: networking, social, socialnetworking

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You have a very legitimate concern and I don't have the answer.
I need to keep digging on this issue -- How do you block friend requests from outside of a closed Ning network?
An essential question, I'd say.
Yeah, or how do you do disable the "friends" option altogether?! I know this is where some of the "power" of all this social networking comes from but, frankly, I'd rather not have to deal with the sudents being preoccupied with who has more friends than another. That already hapens in the face-to-face world! I know the "firends" option would be the most important aspect of this if I were to use it with 5th graders, not the conversations.
You're right, Gordon. The whole "who has more friends" topic would be hard to deal with. Something I'd rather leave outside of the classroom.
Apparently every feature of ning can be altered or removed if one understands php and javascript. Unfortunately I don't. The explanations are to be found on the ning developers and ning documentation networks.

What we need is someone who understands what to do knows how to do it and is willing to share!
I teach an African American Lit course in the Spring and I plan on using ning instead of my CMS. Since the students are junior/senior level college--hopefully they will be more mature about using a social networking tool for class.

The Main page will be my notes/lecture/whatever page. The students will post their content (papers) on their page. I will use the various tools to faciliate group workshopping for papers. I can use the blog space for reflectio on the readings/discussion for discussion etc. I just need to figure out how I create a gradebook. Right now, I may be using the gradebook in the CMS, but I have til January to find an open source gradebook tool.

We'll see what happens here. I am also planning to connect them to CARMUN (www.carmun.com) for their research needs.
Yes, I do hope the people at Ning will slowly address the issues around "friends" and make it more adaptable/flexible and thus provide more security.

I teach in the area of EFL , English as a foreign language and I plan on setting up some schools from across the globe on voice thread. Mostly because it is speech based and a great learning tool for students of English as a Foreign/Second language. That said, I'd appreciate some advice on a related topic.

I train English teachers in Seoul, Korea. Largest school board in the world, we have some 1,800 + English teachers. My courses are delivered/promoted through the institutes website in Korean. I don't like this and I'm really trying to get the teachers to use English as their language of prof. development. This will help more than anything, by creating this culture, their own teaching/classes. So, I want to try a way to both A) deliver / introduce my courses [and colleagues here] B] link to my teaching resources and networks C) have this site as a model they can use directly on their own school servers {the teachers here for the most part are super high tech, so are the schools and the kids even more cutting edge). Any advice? Moodle? But I fear this will be too much for them as teachers to then use in conjunction with their own school servers and creating a portal. ...

What I want is something that they can use also, to deliver and create community with their own students. I think it important that what I offer myself, be able to also be a model for their own English classroom/school environment.

Any help appreciated.

I'd like to try a 4th grade ning this year as many kids are asking me how they can "make web pages" and I would like it to be in a structure that I can view and they can learn for their futures.
I found this article in Wired magazine, examining various social networking services for students.
It may or may not be helpful.

I'd like to get a ning for my classroom and our collaborators but my students are under the age of 13. Has anyone else encountered this?
I've been using a Ning with my high school students (mostly 12th graders) at The International School of the Americas. I've been blogging about it here and recently wrote an article for Horace, the Coalition of Essential Schools’ Quarterly Journal which is coming out in their Summer 2009 issue. Hope you enjoy!
I have a new post called How I Use Social Networking to Keep My Students Engaged All Summer ... that will be of interest to those wanting to use social networking with their students.



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