Wednesday, July 29, 2009

To Ning or not to Ning

I am getting ready to start the set up of the class blogs for the upcoming year. As usual I will have the blog hub which needs very little tinkering but I will have to create 4 class blogs from scratch and place 4 more in the archives!!!

Last night got me thinking though. I was listening to a PLP group present their projects from Australia. It was a wonderful experience seeing these educators talk about their growth over a year long journey. Key to their success was the Ning that PLP created for them. They were able to network and have input from expert voices to guide them on their journey.

Do students who have blogging experience need a Ning to nurture their learning and educational experiences? What is the value of using a Ning over blogs and wikis.... Do students need another learning environment or is this going to be the straw that breaks the camels back?

I am still struggling to figure this out. I love the blogs because it gives the students a genuine audience that promotes growth and quality of work. Wikis offer a space for collaboration. Nings are enclosed communities where only group members have access. This goes against the entire notion of audience. I need the work the students do out there. Not in there.

Gate on Flickr
by fensterbme

With all of that said. It would be interesting if more of my team members at school wanted to blog. Creating a community where many different to create a Ning community. Here there would be groups for different types of work, math, language arts etc. Having a platform for all to participate in ...... Once again the only problem would be audience. Do I want to put the walls up or keep them down for all to see.

I think I am seeing this properly or have I missed something.