Ning and its future in education!

The first inkling that I got re potential  issues with ning, was an email alert from Jen Wagner that read as follows:-

I am unsure if you have heard the news — but NING’s blog today had information about their upcoming changes to NINGS and the fact that they will be costing in the near future.

Which means, in the near future, this ning will need to close as well. But no worries — I am already looking for a portal to move us to.

Twitterverse was full of many discussions but still the future was unknown. Steve Hargadon founder of classroom 2.0 called an immediate/urgent online meeting of interested parties, Wednesday April 21st in elluminate. It was fortunate that I could attend such a meeting. The atmosphere was electric with more than 140 participants representing most continents of the globe, all with an active voice. The discussion and chat moved so fast, that many had to change their view in elluminate and even then, it was impossible to keep up with the feed. From Sharon P: The chat rocks too fast

All were deeply disappointed with ning’s announcement, many felt angry, others frustrated but all were left wondering about the future of networking in education for both educationalists and students.  The meeting agenda is below:-

From the chat:-

  • I’m a huge Ning fan.  I’m hoping we can convince them of the value of some things, and of the obligation of some others. (Steve Hargadon)
  • Indeed but we can’t expect everything for free can we? Before we go into a panic let’s see what there price point is.  (JGubbins207)
  • Scott MacGregor: i think our general message to NING should be that a free offering for educators is a great loss leader through our students and colleagues. cutting out free participants, in an arena filled with free offerings will cut your ad revenue
  • I’m worried about the content that’s been lovingly created under the belief it would be available. (Steve Hargadon)
  • Sharon P: Buddypress is definitely what I would consider as a replacement for NIng, but one needs a server to host
  • Kevin Honeycutt: I have never found anything that works as easily and handles so much multimendia
  • Kevin Honeycutt: I understand it has to cost, I pay for several networks but I have inportant content on some free ones. Hope I can migrate or find sponsors.
  • Linda Dougherty: Just checking with Second Life friends, they are migrating to
  • Ibrahim: I have started copying all images to my own host using Coppermine web uploader
  • Does it mean that we lose all our existing free nings, if we do not pay, or will they just be locked down?
  • Sharon P: @JGubbins I have to look at this thru the lens of educators in developing nations
  • SandyDG-Argentina: can you speak slowly…please . we are speaking english as second lenguages…thanks..
  • sharonbetts 1: very awesome – my worry is all those teachers with small networks that cannot be afforded
  • Ning has done something tremendous. Here is the evidence – in this room!
  • Scott MacGregor: ning hasformative in my teaching and that of one of my colleagues
  • Cris: We need a social entrepreneur to come through for Ning
  • Sharon P: I completely understand that Ning needs to change their business model in order to continue to exist
  • As teachers we want our students to be ‘lifelong learners’ – so whatever direction we take post-NING, I’m looking for lengevity.  The ning – even if dead-ish should enable students to reflect on their progeress years after the event
  • Deb White (MN): Solutions…let’s avoid whining and move to ideas.
  • sharonbetts 1: it has been such a fabulous way to extend the classroom across cultures.
  • Tammy Moore: Peggy – if you give me CC I could type to try to help English as second language participants
  • steveoc: NING doesn’t owe anyone free services
  • Cris: Ning is like a nursery for preparing digital citizens
  • Sharon P: For those in developing nations, ning offered a great entry point for using technology to communicate
  • angelamaiers: Think about how much we spend in schools for textbooks, reproducible materials, etc…the price point pay for a Ning will pale in comparison
  • Camille Nischal: What is grandfathering of existing Nings?
  • Stephanie Sandifer: I use Classroom 2.0 as a “gateway drug” when introducing teachers to social networkng in workshops
  • Donelle: I wonder if we should designate a particular day to have all of us blog about Ning and let them know where we are coming from.  There can be power in numbers and doing it all of a specific day may have a strong affect in having them take notice.
  • Lee Kolbert: I think its unreasonable for us to ask for free and no ads. What about G-rated ads?
  • Maureen (bcdtech): I hope Steve pulls all of these ideas into a mindmap- I need a visual
Lets do something constructive
  1. Steven Verjan’s Google Doc
  2. Lucy Gray survey
  3. Backing up your user data
  4. Backing up your Ning?
  5. Educational Networking Wiki

Further information

Others suggestions for migrating from the chat included ELGG, buddy press in wordpress
Claude:  The twitter fall on alternatives
Lee Kolbert: Alec Couros Google Doc on Ning Alternatives:
If you are a creator of an educational ning, please fill in this survey to enable ‘your voice”‘!
A global issue with a global audience: the map of participants being built:-


4 responses to “Ning and its future in education!

  1. Thanks for this Anne. It’s such a shame but we all need bread and milk. Having lots on web2.0 can be a worry if there is no back up. When web 2.0 goes so does lots of resources. What if DEECD got a licence for the State or better if Aus Gov got a licence for all Aus schools gov and non gov?

  2. Hi Jenny Thanks for your comment. My concern is not so much for the Victorian students and teachers but for the global connections that I have. The flat classroom projects use nings as do other global projects.Many of their members are from developing nations. How will that all be worked out?

  3. Here are some more alternatives found from twitter
    @ahrenfelt Best free alternatives to NING:,, – what’s your pick?

  4. hi murcha ! I’d pick i’ve tried it. It seems to have everything Ning has and a few extras that make it somewhat unique.

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