Collaborate, Share, Create–Partner With the World…
Photo by WoodleyWonderWorks
Thougths on Ning & Social Networking
I enjoyed exploring Ning, as it opened up a whole new way of thinking about social networking for me as an educator.
Currently, I am a member of Facebook, which I use to keep up with high school, college, and friends from other cities, as well as overseas. I am a fairly new member, within the last 6 months, and it is amazing to me how people find me, either through an online “friend” or just from random facebook searches. For instance, I got an invitation just a few weeks ago to be a “friend” with a woman from France, with whom I was friends with in high school, and I haven’t spoken to her since my senior year. I assume she found me through another online “friend” in the same network. Pretty cool!
Ning is new to me, and from visiting the Classroom 2.0 community, I have a whole new set of ideas for using social networking in the education arena. I was surprised to see how many discussions take place on a myriad of topics. In addition, I was delighted with the groups and additional online communities available in Ning that relate to my professional interests, including the Teachers As Writers community and the Second Life group within Classroom 2.0’s social network. In fact, Kathy Schrock is creator of the Second Life group, which surprised me and made me see how the Classroom 2.0 community is valid. For some reason, by her membership, and the membership of Tom March and Bernie Dodge, the site has more validity, as these are names that have been around in my introduction to the instructional technology world. For a digital immigrant like myself, knowing that “real” and “authentic” professionals participate in the community, makes me more motivated in being a part of it as well, as shallow as that may seem.
Finally, I did a little fun search on Ning and discovered a slew of online communities dedicated to doll collecting, a childhood pasttime of mine . Who knew there were so many Madame Alexander fanatics!
I see social networking as a powerful learning tool for sharing, collaborating, and creating content.
Students need training in how to participate safely in social networking–what better way than to provide an authentic learning experience in the classroom!
As a language arts teacher, I envision participating in a writing network, collaborating with classrooms around the world. (Move over classroom wiki, we can broadcast, collaborate, and share even more than ever!)
As an interdisciplinary experience, authentic research would be a richer experience by collaborating with other learners around the globe, constructing knowledge with people from other cultures, hemispheres, continents, and more–think of the possibilities!