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RE: [xmca] ning

Hi Jennifer, 
What kind of access does ning have to a private site? 

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu]
On Behalf Of Jennifer Vadeboncoeur
Sent: Thursday, June 04, 2009 8:34 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] ning

Hi Folks,

We use NING in two large courses in the teacher education program, 
one for elementary and one for secondary teacher candidates. There 
are approximately 280-320 students in each course. They meet in a 
large lecture hall for one hour of lecture, followed by two hours of 
discussion in "small" break-out groups of about 30-34 teacher 

We use NING for several purposes: 1) to post writing assignments, for 
example responses to weekly inquiry questions, 2) to enable 
additional conversation outside of class, 3) to communicate general 
information across all sections of the course, 4) and most important, 
to build community among the teacher candidates and with the 
instructors. We use the "forum," rather than the blog, and create 
weekly forums to organize postings.

I am interested in the extent to which this technology, coupled with 
the course structure, enables continued professional relationships 
once teacher candidates complete their degree/certification and begin 
their first teaching positions. Many of our teacher candidates teach 
across Canada and the US, and internationally as well.

While NING is quite like other social networking sites, when we began 
using it several years ago it was the only one that allowed us to 
form closed community groups that were protected by an administrator 
function that allowed us control over who could enter. We did not 
want to use a completely open site. Teacher candidates can post 
pictures, videos, their teaching activities and professional 
contributions, and have conversations that we did not want to give 
public access to. We have continued to use it because it also allows 
us to use a French template for the sections of our courses that are 
conducted in French.

For us, NING is incredibly useful. It is easy to use and continues to 
evolve and offer new options as well. So far, so good.

Best - jennifer

>Here's one example, although you need to be a member to use it:
>Peter Smagorinsky
>Professor of English Education and Program Coordinator
>The University of Georgia
>125 Aderhold Hall
>Athens, GA 30602
>-----Original Message-----
>From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu]
>Behalf Of Helen Grimmett
>Sent: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 8:17 PM
>To: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>Subject: [xmca] Re: technology for Classroom use
>I've recently heard about something called a "ning", which from what I
>can gather seems to be a way to set up your own small scale networking
>site (like a mini facebook) for your own circle of users. It seems to
>this might be an ideal way for classrooms (or groups of classrooms or
>teachers) to explore this technology and be able to share their work
>without worrying about what else they might come into contact with on
>facebook, myspace or youtube etc.
>I haven't investigated it fully yet, but am wondering if it might be
>sort of thing that will be useful for my research project on
>professional learning. Perhaps someone else has some more infromation
>about nings?
>Helen Grimmett
>xmca mailing list


Jennifer A. Vadeboncoeur, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
The University of British Columbia
Faculty of Education
2125 Main Mall
Library Block 272B
Vancouver BC V6T-1Z4

phone: 1.604.822.9099
fax: 1.604.822.3302

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