I was first introduced to Nings through Joyce Valenza’s TeacherLibrarianNing (2430 members). I have to confess that I found the interface quite confusing for a while. However, since joining that Ning, I have joined several others and have become accustomed to the way Nings work.
The Ning that has excited me the most recently is the SCASL Ning. I’ve attended three SCASL (South Carolina Association of School Librarians) conferences in the past and have been impressed with the enthusiasm and creativity of other media specialists in South Carolina. The current leadership of SCASL has made intensive efforts to involve our association with Web 2.0 through blogging, podcasts, and even a webcast.
Now, thanks to Julie Putnam, South Carolina library media specialists have their own social network. As of today, 235 people have joined the Ning. Great ideas are being shared and new friendships are being formed.
I want my teachers to experience the professional development that Nings offer, so I thought I would find several to recommend. The numbers in parentheses after the title of each Ning are the number of members in the Ning as of the date of this post.
English Companion: Where English teachers meet to help each other (594) This Ning was created by Jim Burke, author of many books including the namesake of this site, The English Teacher’s Companion.
Classroom 2.0 (15,559) Winner of the 2008 Edublog’s Award for Best Use of Social Networking. This Ning focuses on introducing teachers to Web 2.0 tools and how they are being used to enhance instruction.
Smart Board Revolution (750) The members of this Ning share tips, ideas, and lessons for using Smart Boards in the classroom.
VoiceThread for Educators (248) The members here are participating “to create, build, and keep resources” for those using VoiceThread in the classroom.
So, You Want to Start Your Own Ning?
Ning in Education (3229) This is a Ning on how to use Nings in education. It’s a great starting point for anyone considering developing their own Ning. If you want to start a Ning for your secondary classroom, be sure to investigate the offer for an ad-free site.
Image attribution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/49512158@N00/1638001945