Thank-you, I'm going to invite the K-12 teachers involved in this project to join and see what think about the Ning environment for their students. When we did this project before we used Blackboard. Students had difficulty establishing social presence especially on discussion boards. I can already tell that this environment may improvement that expereince. I’ve never really explored Facebook or Myspace. Is Classroom 2.0 modeling itself after those? Is there a chat feature or electronic whiteboard available like in Blackboard? How much security can I assure parents this environment has?
I agree with Noel. A Ning account seems perfect, especially if you can lock down access. I haven't built one yet so I can't say but the promise is there. It looks enough like MySpace that it will be a familiar UI. Kids will want to customize/personalize their profiles, not sure how much of that will be possible either.
As for more traditional 2D web environments, I think Wordpress blogs are probably worth looking at too. Maximum creative and physical controls, great UI, amazing number of themes available for whatever visual presentation you could want. Here's one we had going in our 8th grade a while back:
Thanks Kevin! I took a look at the example you sent. I like it! It looks simple and manageable. I saw very little interaction between students. Only one posting had a response. Did you do anything to encourage student interaction?
Because there is so much concern about what students do in social networked environments I’m interested in finding value in what student natural do in these environments and/or how to encourage “productive” interaction with out damping their motivation to participate in a more teacher controlled social networked environment. Either way I need lots of student interaction.