Has anyone tried using Ning with students as a social networking/writing space? I would be most interested in knowing how it went, if it has happened, as I am considering this platform (along with Elgg) for a big online writing space for middle school students. The past two years, we have used Manila blogs and, uhhh, too complicated and didn't do what we wanted.

So if you have used social networking with students, could you give me some advice?

Thanks
Kevin

Tags: networking, social, socialnetworking

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I created a social network for my class of yr 3/4 and set it only to other people we invited and it is great for collaboration and talking to another class at this point across austraila, I teach in a very remote Aboriginal Austrailian primary - and I'm finding it so much fun and I'm learning with the children. They are practicing their english language skills typing to real people asking and reviewing their work. We all loaded our favourit art pieces and asked the other class to review our work so we are responding to our own learning its fabulous- it is a small thing at the moment that is still evolving with the children. I love the security for the ethical issues surrounding a broad network like facebook. First I created the network and myself is the creator and my class had an email that I invited and I logged them on so all they needed to do was type in the web address and entre with the email and password. Then I put on class photos and let them explore and use the chat function to talk to each other (engage) then we invited the other class, they logged on and i conferenced with the other teacher to tell her what we were doing and visa versa. As a class we discussed colours and edited our class page. Now we are upto loading our art and responding to comments.
my question is whether anyone else has some teaching units they have made they could tell me about?
I created a Ning for a 2 week summer program for gifted kids in grades 8,9, and 10. We used the Ning to create our own classroom "culture," and to study the concept of culture, which was the theme of the program. The kids loved using the network, creating their own pages, and adding apps and vokis. They also made a podcast of their own cultural heritage and posted it on the network. I had planned on trying to network with a class in South America, but it didn't work out. However, I did find that kids used it outside of school in order to start their own discussions about contemporary cultural issues, very cool! I think it ultimately allowed kids to see that social networking can be used for a purpose other than social chatting. I now see that the discussions we had were especially helpful for students who were reluctant to speak in class, but given some time to think, were able to give deeper answers to big questions. This is what I love about blogging in my classes now.

For my current 7th grade English classes, I use edublogs.org and I have created blogs and emails for all of my students through this site. You can use it to post blog topics and to create static pages. It's not as multifaceted for the students, but for my purposes with these classes, it is just fine.
I just created a subgroup under an existing ning for my school. I would like to add my students(under age 13) w/o using an email address for each kid. Does anyone know how to addd 200+ accounts for an educational ning without using an actual or actual email?

I have looked in the help section of the ning site to no avail.

Eric
The last I knew, Ning was off limits (by Ning policy) to kids under 13. You might want to check on that, though.
Kevin
You can try a couple of different methods outlined here:

Tammy's Tech Tips

or

Google Disposable email addresses


or

Google Dummy Accounts

The last two are basically the same thing described in different ways--hope this helps!
I've used Ning for two semesters with my undergrads and they simply love it (better than the LMS prescribed by the university). Their reflective thoughts about my class - content, etc are all shared in Ning.
I'm trying to decide whether to go with Ning, Edmodo, or Twitter for class discussions. I think I understand the downsides of twitter (lack of privacy, character quota, lack of archiving, lack of features); what about ning vs edmodo for the high school classroom?
I would definitely recommend to go with the flow and get all students on Twitter. There are more chances that they are enthusiastic about it because it is Trendy.

I have tried getting my people at ellen-clothing-manufacturer.com interested in other social marketing activities without much success.

They are currently using twitter because it is fun, easy and quick.
I wish I had started with that one right away.
I haven't tried yet.But it seems a good idea to encourage our students create their own simple ning network.It's possible and challenging.

Those that are concerned about safety - try SEEDebate.org. Free, closed, moderated, no student email required. You can use it however you want. Less bells and whistes than Ning - so far...we're working on adding more social features. Send me a message if you have questions!
I've used grou.ps (did NOT like) and Ning. So far I really enjoy Ning, but anonymous gifts and ads have been my problems. I think any time kids use MySpace type auto-generated comments, they attract the Match.com ads. I would disable comments, but then the kids would think I was a Nazi. Already had to disable chat and gifts (which were cool, but then people could cuss people out and be "anonymous" and no way for me to find out who....)
One catch 22s with Ning is that kids can make their own spaces which allows creative personal space / then they can also put up youtube videos, music players etc as "html code" on my page. Which requires a bit of moderation.
Some solutions:
1. There's always a tattler / student who volunteers to "take names". You can actually assign a student to this.
2. I also tried to overcome this by creating 2 sites - one for kids to "chill out" on, be more expressive, have music and videos, and one strictly for class. This is not working for me tho--seems like once they're used to using one site, they can't bother with the other.


So it looks like elgg is something you develop and build from ground up. Maybe I can use to develop a platform for all teachers at my school to create their own spaces for projects or class. and host on our servers. This may be my solution...I think then I can customize/control to the nth degree, even get flexibility of richer editing. I'm an old web developer so this is no prob for me to setup.

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