Learning in the Social Web with Ning

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This is a presentation I gave at MoblEd10 in a hands-on workshop about using Ning for social learning.

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Learning in the Social Web with Ning

  1. 1. Learning in the Social Web with Ning Michelle Pacansky-Brock Michelle Macfarlane MoblEd10 Pasadena City College April 19-20, 2010
  2. 2. first things first What’s new at Ning?
  3. 3. says, “We will phase out our free service.” What will this mean to educators?
  4. 4. As part of this change, we’ll be phasing out our free service.  On May 4, 2010, we will share with you all of the details of our new offering, including features and price points, through a series of blog posts, emails, and conference calls. We recognize that there are many active Ning Networks for teachers, small non-profits, and individuals and its our goal to have a set of product and pricing options that will make sense for all of them. For Ning Creators using our free service who choose to move to another service, we will offer a migration path and time to make that change. We will still continue to allow free trials and test networks on the Ning Platform. On May 4th, tune in at: http://blog.ning.com
  5. 5. content created by web specialists web users “read” content content created by anyone web users read, collaborate, How does Web 2.0 differ from Web 1.0? edit, and participate http://docentesenextremadura.wikispaces.com/PALE.Web+2.0+applications 5
  6. 6. A Student’s Life Outside the “Classroom” • Socialize face-to-face and online • 95% of 18-24 year olds use a social network (70% daily) • Create & share online content • 45% share videos online (YouTube) • 42% contribute content to wikis • 37% contribute to blogs • 35% use podcasts • Have immediate access to information • 86% own a cell phone • 51% own a hand held internet device Source: Smith, Salaway, Borreson Caruso. ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and IT, 2009. 6 http://www.educause.edu/ecar
  7. 7. Ning Features • Privacy Options: “open” or “closed” • Closed or “private” networks require an invitation to join (manageable through an “invite link”) • Members are granted their own “page” complete with image & video sharing, as well as a personal blog •Features may be added: forums, groups, pages, direct post to Twitter, image share from Flickr • Apps may be added: Linkshare, Ustream, PollDaddy • Widgets may easily be added through “Text boxes” 8
  8. 8. Why Learn with Ning? •Facilitates student-generated content and participatory learning • Builds community, increasing sense of socialization. • Learning in isolation contributes to lower retention rates in online classes (compared to F2F)* • Personalized learning environment • Visual learning • A great enhancement to an LMS for online learning! *Galusha, 1997; Hara & Khling 1999; Kubala, 1998; Soles & Moller, 2001 9
  9. 9. Active Learning with Blogs Weekly Prompts to Apply New Ideas, Learn from Each Other 2 images: same object phographed by student in two different lighting conditions. 500 word written analysis of observations, applying color and light terms. Comments from other students, noting additional observations and replying to students’ analysis. 10
  10. 10. Active Learning with Blogs Art Visit: • attend a major art museum or two gallery openings • view artworks, apply key terms learned in class • write a 1,000 word reflection of your visit • document visit with photos • post to your blog in Ning Outcomes: Collaborative blog environment promotes sharing of different perspectives and ideas. Students often attend the same exhibit and have completely different experiences, identify similar or different “favorite” works of art. Connects curriculum to real world. 11
  11. 11. Ning Student Page Sample Options for Personalized Learning Environment may add images (this student chose to scan and share a collage assignment that was submitted as part of an exam) may share videos from YouTube blog (only required Ning element for the course) 12
  12. 12. Communicate “Community” as a Course Value •establish “community groundrules” •hold students accountable to them • participate in the community, modeling these defined behaviors •students will feel safe, ensured that they’re working with shared values and goals 13
  13. 13. Customize Profile Questions build community, get to know your students, identify concerns immediately ‘open’ questions are posted to the student’s profile page for other students to view ‘locked’ questions are private exchanges btw student & instructor 14
  14. 14. Be Creative! Masterpiece Blog Award: Peer-nominated award for blogging excellence. Winner receives prestigious extra credit prize. Builds community. Enhances engagement, morale. 15
  15. 15. Ning for Role Playing English teacher Jenny Johns uses Ning to teach classic literature, such as To Kill a Mockingbird.
  16. 16. Student Survey Results 68% of students surveyed reported they spent more time to write their blog posts in Ning than they would to write a traditional discussion board post. 83% of students surveyed reported the use of the blogs and comments in Ning was an effective discussion tool.
  17. 17. Student Survey Results 76% of students surveyed reported the sharing of pictures and videos in Ning resulted in a more personalized learning experience than text-based learning alone. 90% of students surveyed reported seeing pictures of their fellow classmates helped them feel more connected to the class discussions than text-based learning alone.
  18. 18. Student Survey Results 81% of students surveyed reported the use of Ning created a sense of community in this class.
  19. 19. Student Comments Please provide some feedback about the way Ning has been used in this class. Has it been helpful? Why or why not? How would you change the way it's being used? Ning is a great way to keep the atmosphere upbeat. Makes the class seem less cold as an online class tends to be, makes it friendly and very interactive with other students. I love Ning! There is such a sense of accomplishment when I look at my page. Knowing that I wrote all those blogs and other students read and appreciate them is such a motivator to continue the good work.
  20. 20. Student Comments (cont’d) I really enjoyed NING because honestly it reminded me a lot of myspace/facebook. I could talk with my peers whenever I needed to and it was really effective to blog my thoughts and assignments and see other students do the same. It was odd at first, seeing people's pictures and 'blogging', as I have never participated in this kind of forum before, but I found that I liked it, I felt more like I knew my fellow classmates than in other classes. Ning makes it feel like a classroom, I mean we're all here at some time or another interacting with one another.
  21. 21. A Few Important Tips Avoid using email to send invitations. Invite students through the Invitation Link (Manage Tab/Privacy). Establish community guidelines. Model them, enforce them and encourage students to do the same. Be clear about what’s “required” and what’s “optional” in your Ning.
  22. 22. Hands-On Learning Time download handout at MoblEd10.ning.com (click on Workshops/Ning)
  23. 23. Questions? Thoughts? by Valerie Everett on Flickr Michelle Pacansky-Brock mpb@teachingwithoutwalls.com Michelle Macfarlane mmacfarlane@teachingwithoutwalls.com

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