"Closed" Ning? for the classroom. How "closed" is closed?

It's been recommended to me that I start a "closed" ning site for my classroom, because our technology director refuses to open any Web 2.0 resources to students in our district, and maybe having a closed site will change that.

My question, given the attempt at classroom blogging I've already made, is how closed is a closed ning site? Last summer I prepared a classroom blog using eblogger which was blocked-unblocked-and blocked again in pretty short order. The reason for that was that in eblogger, even if your blog had all kinds of restrictions on it, the site always had that dumb "go next blog" link so students could, potentially, get to all kinds of inappropriate blogs.

So, does "closing" a ning site prevent students from leaving it to go to other random ning sites or other ning sites they may belong to that are not appropriate in the school setting?

I've tried to research this on the internet and have found surprisingly little information about it.


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I just checked out a ning that I created. It does not seem to let me out of it to see other nings. I had to leave it and open a new tab to get to others, so if you lock access down to only it in your Internet filter, I think that you'll be fine.

I'm an IT Director. Would you like for me and some of my larger IT Director friends to have a conversation with your Tech Director? ;-)
Thanks Steve,

I have begun a closed ning and I believe I'm getting the same results you've had in that I cannot link to other sites from this closed ning site. That's a good thing.

I'd take you up on the offer to have a little sitdown with our IT Director, but maybe I'll just invite my asst. supt. to join this closed ning and let her get the firsthand experience to have a little sitdown with him herself. ;-)
Not hard - go into manage and it is there. You need to tbe the 'owner' of the ning to make it happen. You can make it private but unless you pay, you do get ads.
My understanding is that you can request an ad-free Ning from Ning if you are using it with students (not adults) for educational purposes. They seem to be pretty strict, but it is worth a shot. Here are the instructions: http://education.ning.com/page/how-to-request-ad-removal-from
Thank you! I'm hoping to have our class website ad-free soon. :-)
Interested in this discussion...We are having the same problem here at our school. I used blogger.com since January and it has been blocked, unblocked, etc. Currently it is blogged on student login but not on teachers. You can remove the "next blog" button, which is what I am going to do with my personal teacher blog. However the district is advocating the use of edublog next year for any teacher interested in blogging with their students. I looked into that and unless you pay $40 for the year you get site advertising within the content of your blog AND students have to have an email address to post (there are ways of getting around that). It becomes very discouraging when you want to try new things and "stuff" gets in the way. I haven't looked into nings because of the age restriction - I teach 9/10 year olds.

Eve Heaton
Whats the situation on the age restriction? I am looking at using ning with similar age children.
Oliver, You have to be 13 to use ning. A teacher would be asking for trouble, IMHO, with kids younger than high school. There are so many nooks and crannies--IM, personal blogs, uploading pics and videos, chat (in some cases) forum, etc. A teacher would have to be ever vigilent to watch a bunch of middle schoolers. Parents and admin would certainly have to be aware of the network and why a teacher needs to do it.

I actually think it would be safer with 9-10 year olds that 11-15 year olds!! haha.
So is that something in their terms of service that you have to be over 13? You can disable elements though cant you? I was thinking of keeping it simple at first and adding blogs, groups etc slowly as they learn to use it properly..
The Terms and Conditions say you have to be 13. You are taking a big risk by ignoring that restriction!! haha.
I haven't ignored it yet!

Thanks for the info =)
I am new to blogging, Classroom 2.0, all of it. I just finished my first year of teaching 5th grade. I used the link you posted and was very impressed with your site. I was looking at setting up a ning site for my class. I didn't realize there was an age restriction, but had begun to think of containment. My site would be by invitation only, but how to keep my students from wandering outside my site. . . . Our district is looking at setting up teacher websites. If we get the whole thing up and running, would you mind if I copy ideas from your site?



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