Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ning - A Social Networking Site



    Are you looking for an online tool to build a community for your volunteers, students, followers, customers, readers, supporters or fans? Ning could be a great choice. As an educator, Ning has drew my attention as a valuable tool to build a learning community in the classroom or in the school. Ning.com is a social networking site which is similar to Facebook environment but more suitable for school usage. In China, Facebook is blocked, and Ning could be a useful alternative networking site for educational use if it could be accessed.

    Ning is very user-friendly and no technical skill is needed. This will be a great advantage if elementary students would like to use this online tool. The creators could decide the site’ func­tionality, appearance, and whether they want it to be public or private. Another important feature of Ning is its social integration. The built-in integration to other social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube makes it easy to maximize the reach and connect to people who don’t use Ning. For example, as a university teacher who sometimes teach senior students, I always find it difficult to reach all students as senior students are usually busy with internship, job-hunting, graduation paper writing and etc. In this case, I do not need to bring together all of these students who have different schedules and may probably scatter in different places. All I need to do is ask them to use their current social network tool to link to my Ning.  

    Ning provides a great opportunity for academic use. For example, like The English Companion Ning, People could form a new community wtith those like-minded. By building a community around a specific topic or project, Ning could let students create their own social networks and learn how to cultivate and sustain a community of users that might resemble professional contacts and relationships. 

1 comment:

  1. This is a good review of the usefulness of a Ning.

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