What is this thing called ning?

Nings are powerful personal learning network generators. The first ning that I ever joined was classroom2.0 and from that ning alone, I have established an amazing number of connections and developed a powerful personal learning network. Too often, I forget that most people are only just learning about web2.0 tools. As I have worked with several groups of teachers over the last few weeks, most of whom are new to the technology, I wish to write some posts to help any newbies along the ejourney.  So let me introduce you to a ning.

When you logon to a ning you will be taken to the home page. The home page summarizes content. Content usually appears in chronological order.The appearance of a ning will vary depending on the moderator(s) and focus of the ning. However, on the home page of most nings you will find:-

 Tabs at the top and also links within the page allowing you to navigate around the site. These include the following:-

My page

 The personal page belonging to you, the member. You can customize your page to suit your own tastes and needs.

Forums/discussions

Used to actively seek advice, deeper understanding, clarification, responses, feedback or answers to questions from other ning members. The statements should trigger discussions and invite virtual teamworks to share opinions and knowledge, via comments. This is where the power of the ning starts to be experienced.

Blogs

A blog is a personal writing journal or diary used for entries, reflections, reports or memoirs. The comment feature allows others to provide feedback, opinions or just enable conversations to take place.

Media page:- features videos and photos.  These should be appropriate to the theme of the ning. Videos can be self produced or embedded from online. Code can be grabbed from online video sites eg teachertube, youtube etc and embedded into the ning for direct play. Videos should be kept as small as possible, (email size to allow quick replay for all internet users)

Also found on the home page:-

  • Latest activity: – this lists the latest happenings on this ning eg who has added the latest  blog posts, discussions, changed their profile, made friends etc. It alerts you to the latest material that has been added.
  • Events:- displays any upcoming events and announcements
  • Photos:-  a slide show featuring all photos that have been uploaded. (These should be appropriate to the theme of the site) They can also be accessed from the media tab.
  • Quick add:- an option to quickly add a blog post, discussion, event, music, video, photos etc
  • Comments can be made for any content on the ning. This is where conversations take place, interactive learning begins and valuable personal networks establish.

Be active on the ning, make friends, check out the latest discussions and blog posts, add comments and start discussions of your own. Remember, no question is too ‘dumb’. Participate and watch the benefits emerge from having a powerful personal learning network.

Alternatively, you may wish to view a tutorial video.

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