I introduced the ning mainly as a social networking tool that teachers and technology coordinators could use to help make their lives easier. The purpose was to create a supportive environment where members could ask questions and get answers. The name of the Ning is Designing Learning Experiences and members either know about, find, or create and share practical approaches for integrating technology into instructional activities. I designed an activity that I used in a face to face workshop where participants earned points as they joined the ning and participated in some of the forums. That’s how we got started. After that members would invite other members. I think the ning promotes itself because it fills a need.
I will post on my own discussion, that I've had on this topic but not sure if it shows up on top. Today I excitedly started inviting my students by assigned periods/groups to joing my ning network. I invited them by making up six individual periods into their own groups and then inviting friends for each. However, when I go to my main page and press members, they all show up on the main page.
I only want students to access to their indivdual groups/periods. I thought I could do this as an administrator? Can anyone please tell me what I have done wrong???
I was able to invite them to the group, but they are still showing up on the main page which I don't want to happen, because then they will start chatting with their friends from other classes.
I have used Ning with my Grade 10 History students when covering the Great Depression. Students were expected to engage in the discussion forums in role (e.g. an unemployed male, a banker, a farmer). They developed their own roles. I posted several online history sites. They also viewed photographs and other scanned primary source material to piece together life during the 1930s. They posted diary entries in role to each discussion forum. Student also posted poetry for review on the site. Students engaged in a virtual town hall via these entries and tried to solve the problems of the Great Depression. It is excellent on-line discussion resource. They see what other students are thinking or saying and they build their own knowledge and they revise their own theories after being exposed to other perspectives. You can also control who is invited and monitor any inappropriate discussion. It is definitely worthwhile to use in a classroom setting. My only concern was the advertisements on the side. If you do not want these to appear you need to pay a fee.
I just ran across this information in another Ning. Perhaps it will be helpful to someone.
Ning has offered to remove the ads from educational networks which are geared toward students between the ages of 13 and 18 (grades 7 - 12).
To request that your Ning network be considered for this program, please follow the instructions below:
Please sign in to the Ning Help Center first: http://help.ning.com/cgi-bin/ning.cfg/php/enduser/ning_login.php.
Click the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of the page.
The "Ask Our Team a Question" form then appears.
In the first field (“I have a question about”) select “a network that I have created.”
A new field with a pull down menu will appear (“I specifically want to know”) and you should choose “General Question.”
A window will appear where you need to choose a specific topic. Please choose “other” at the end of the list.
In the "Network URL" field please give the network address of the educational network you are asking Ning to make ad-free.
In the message portion of the ticket, please specifically write that you are requesting an ad-free network for education.
Click the send button!
If your network isn't ad-free within a few working days, please check the status of your help request at the same web address under "View Tickets."