Created in October of 2004 by Gina Bianchini and
Goal was to create a social networking site that was
Site can be public or private.
Originally set up to allow anyone to create his own
custom social networking site but educators have seen
its value as a collaborative tool and are jumping on the
bandwagon and creating countless Ning sites which
cover a myriad of topics on education.
Users may embed music and videos
Can create blog posts
May add RSS feeds
Has a chat feature
Has an event calendar
Each member can create a
Very easy to use and navigate
User may move features around their main page to
customize the look of their site
Can set up a Ning site specific to an area of education
and collaborate with people all around the world.
I could see Ning being used as a professional
development tool because one can begin by posting a
topic then invite others to join in the discussion. As
the discussion progresses, people can add media and
documents and reply to other people’s thoughts.
In the classroom, the teacher can assign each student
her own page. The students can then post
assignments on their page or join in a class discussion
that can be initiated by the teacher or the students.
Clicking on the “help” link on the bottom of the page
takes you to the Ning Help page where there is a search
engine to help find answers to questions.
One can also email Ning directly
Would be nice if one can set up a page like a wiki
Many of the features such as video, photos and blogs
are blocked by BCPS.
Lucy Gray from High Techpectations writes, “I think
Ning is a powerful tool because it makes it easy for
educators to take charge of their professional
development by interacting virtually with other like-
Elizabeth Rich of The World’s Largest English
Department tells a story of how a soon to be English
teacher was searching for information on the web as to
what to expect once she starts teaching. She stumbled
upon The English Companion Ning and in the
discussion section, posted a thread entitled “New
Teachers.” In her thread, she wrote of her trepidations
for the upcoming year and within twelve hours, she
had received 60 responses.
There is a plethora of Ning websites dedicated to
educators. The major ones are classroom20.com and
education.ning.com. Just typing in “Ning” and
“Education” in the into their search engine will bring
up a over 7000 sites.
A sampling of Ning education sites are on the
Many educators have already discovered the benefits
of using Ning to meet and collaborate with colleagues
from around the world.
Ning is a powerful tool for collaboration and
professional development because its many
customizable features allow users to post information
and hold discussions synchronously by use of the chat
or asynchronously by use of the blogs.
Created by James Farmer to give a way for educators
and students to collaborate.
According to Wikipedia, it has a membership of
300,000 educators and students from around the
A version called “Edublogs Campus” allows schools
and universities to host Edublogs on their own
Strength of platform is its blogs which are presented
first and center when one accesses an Edublogs page.
Can add a calendar, search engine, and links to
previous posts to either the left or right of the blogs.
Customization is done in the Dashboard page.
Highly customizable. Especially if one becomes a paid
Can be set up in a matter of minutes.
Simple to post a discussion in order to elicit feedback.
Customizability allows edublogs.org to appeal to
different folks with different agendas.
While the site is easy to set up and customize, I found
it difficult to make it uniquely mine in appearance.
This may be because I am a member of the free site.
Changes in appearance made to the dashboard page
does not carry over to the blogs page.
No synchronous feature such as a chat room.
Besides blogging, not much else unless one is a
Must be a supporter to add podcasts,
video comments, twitter tools, widgets, and plugins.
Edublogger link takes the user to a site that explains
how to find and use web 2.0 technologies in the
Edublogs Help and Support link is for questions and
tech support. Has a Wordle-like feature to find out
which topics are being researched the most.
Did not see a way to contact Edublogs.org directly.
Since it is geared towards educators, it is not blocked
by BCPS so teachers can use it to create classroom
blogs so that collaboration can take place after school.
Students can use it to work together on group projects.
In Language Arts, the teacher could post a writing
assignment and have the students reply by blog post.
Students could use edublogs.org to communicate with
students in other countries.
Patricia Donaghy lists Edublogs.org as one of her top
ten tools for learning.
Larry Ferlazzo states that edublogs.org is “a great free
blog-hosting site for teachers and students alike. It’s
specifically designed for educational use and is
incredibly responsive to user needs, suggestions, and
For ideas on how to use edublogs to teach, click here.
Miraculously, even though it is a blog, it is not blocked
There is an edublogs.tv site which functions just like
TeacherTube: one can post or view videos created by
educators to educate.
Following slides are examples
of the possibilities…