How would I use Ning in education?
Ning has partnered with the education and technology company Pearson as an exclusive Ning Sponsor Partner. Pearson will make Ning Mini free for eligible North American K-12 and Higher-Ed Ning Networks. Ning Mini is a great way to get your educational institution online. With Ning Mini, you can add up to 150 members, and enhance your classroom, educational institution or your learning group with customized, online, social networking features like blogs, forums and photos. Read more about Ning Mini.
Ning looks like it can provide educators with a safe, social networking type of website. Teachers can set up the permissions in their classrooms, and students can talk with each other about the things they need, outside of class. The teacher can monitor and step in, if necessary. And, it is not open, like Facebook or Twitter, which could lead to students getting involved with strangers or using the technology for ulterior purposes. Facebook and Twitter are usually blocked at schools, and Ning can be allowed by the technology director.
Because I have not used Ning personally in my class, here are some links to people who have great resources:
Guidelines for using Ning in a school setting
Using Ning in the classroom: What advice can you give a graduate teacher?