About Me

Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Top Ten Tools: Ning

This year, I have not used Ning as an instructor but rather as a student. I have participated in the work literacy course and the Corporate Learning Trends and Innovations 2008online conference.

Ning is a very powerful and flexible environment in which social networking, resource sharing, and forums can all be included in one location. An individual can start a Ning (for free), then invite members into the Ning. There are different levels of privacy, but, like facebook, a member needs to ask for membership to enter the Ning.

How it works

I am not familiar with the set up of Nings, although those that used it have said it is easy to do so. A person must first register with the site. As a participant and member, I have the option to create a profile with as much or little information as I want, including a picture, location, profession, and gender. This is done very simply by answering questions after you have registered for a Ning. This profile can be modified (adding more information, changing pictures, etc...)at any time.

I would log into the home page of the Ning in which I was participating. Although this page may vary depending on who is managing the Ning, usually there was a menu which included announcements, new posts to discussion forums, and new additions to the membership, resources, and video section. There are tabs at the top of the homepage which allows you to go to your own home page and have "private" conversations (not broadcasted to the group at large, but still viewable to your "friends"), access uploaded videos, review the forum discussions (including identifying new posts), seeing the newest tweets or other feeds, or even blogging within the site.


This is a social networking site that allows for participants to create their own space within the Ning. Those that prefer to learn through discussion forums, can do so. Those that want to blog to learn, can do so. There is also great opportunity for collaboration and sharing of resources, all within on area.

However, for the Ning to work and be sustained, there does need to be a facilitator who will facilitate communication both within and outside of the ning to maintain interest. This might include e-mail updates to members (which the Ning has the ability to do), creating and organizing some structure for discussion forums, and maintaining social protocols to ensure group interaction.

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