WHAT IS NING? <ul><li>NING is a way of allowing people with common interests to share ideas and learn from one another. </li></ul><ul><li>It is a platform for creating social networks where members are able to upload material, make comments and share ideas and experiences relating to a particular topic. </li></ul><ul><li>NING is like getting a group of people together in the same room and discussing similar interests – except it is done using a virtual environment and not in ‘real time’. </li></ul>
HOW IS NING REALLY BENEFICIAL FOR EDUCATION? <ul><li>Students can look for NING sites on a particular subject when trying to research information for an assignment/project or just for general interest. </li></ul><ul><li>For example, someone who wants to learn about ecotourism (which is a subject I teach here at TAFE) can search the NING site and access any relevant information that will help them. </li></ul><ul><li>You can read other people’s posts, see their photos and videos and learn new bits of information on your area of interest. </li></ul><ul><li>In addition, if you sign up and become a member of that NING page, you can contribute to the discussion and upload your own content. </li></ul>
THIS IS A NING SITE DISCUSSING WAYS OF MAKING TOURISM A MORE SUSTAINABLE PRACTICE. AS A TEACHER, I CAN USE THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN SOME OF MY ECOTOURISM CLASSES.
BELOW IS A NING SITE DEDICATED TO THOSE WHO DID F.L.E. LAST SEMESTER. YOU CAN SEE LOIS EMBEDDED A VIDEO CLIP TEACHING PEOPLE HOW TO USE GOOGLE, MOODLE, WIKI AND A BLOG IN THE CLASSROOM.
HERE IS A NING SITE FOR PEOPLE WANTING TO SHARE AND LEARN INFORMATION ABOUT ACOUSTIC GUITARS. AN INVALUABLE RESOURCE FOR GETTING ADVICE ON PURCHASING AND PLAYING A GUITAR.
NING FOR THE CLASSROOM… <ul><li>NING could well be a substitute for a user ‘unfriendly’ learning management system which is used in many universities and TAFEs. </li></ul><ul><li>LMS (blackboard) requires a teacher (in my case) to contact a number of different people to set up courses, update them, change them around and add students. This can be done quite easily using a NING site without the need to involve third parties. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers have more control over the content and management with much easier access. </li></ul>
MANAGING STUDENTS’ LEARNING <ul><li>A NING site enables students to learn in a multitude of ways (i.e. Visual, text, listening etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion forums enable students to contribute to ideas and ask questions without feeling intimidated or embarrassed. </li></ul><ul><li>Learning is not done in ‘real time’ and therefore allows participants to refine their ideas and questions before putting them to the rest of the class. </li></ul><ul><li>Flexibility is also an important benefit of this type of learning where NING becomes an ongoing knowledge base which students can refer back to at anytime to continue expanding on their ideas. </li></ul>
MANAGING STUDENTS’ LEARNING CONT... <ul><li>NING also has a blog feature where information can be posted in a chronological order allowing students to keep track of the development of new ideas/information and their time frame. </li></ul><ul><li>NING is essentially a shared learning space which in my experience is the best way to learn about new subjects and special interests. </li></ul><ul><li>I have prepared a short ‘screencast’ to further illustrate the above mentioned points. </li></ul>