I love these Nings and have gotten so many great ideas from them. But there have been major changes and Nings will no longer be free! Boooooo! I think they should let those already established be "grandfathered" in. What are your thoughts?
Free Ning Accounts for Educators
by firstname.lastname@example.org (Mr. Byrne)
Ning caused quite a commotion last month when they announced that they were planning to discontinue their free services this summer. Today, Ning announced what the new fee-based plans will offer. None of the options appear to be all that reasonable for a classroom setting. The good news though is that an unnamed company in the education market has stepped forward to sponsor free accounts for K-12 educators. The free accounts will be the equivalent of Ning's fee-based Ning Mini service. Read more about the Ning Mini and free education accounts on the Ning blog. http://blog.ning.com/2010/05/introducing-ning-pro-ning-plus-and-nin...
Ning Mini won't replace the old free Ning accounts, but they should still be useable for classroom settings. Though with a cap of 150 members it probably won't be useable for building a community Ning around a whole school or PTA.
If you'd like to explore some free alternatives to Ning, please read this.
Early word from Ning in their announcements was that you could pay for longer periods of time, but still only by credit card (PayPal?). I did tell them about the need for purchase orders, but I don't have any idea how much of a priority this is for them.
Rumor has it that Pearson Learning is the business that is going to sponsor the Ning ed. groups that have memberships of 150 or less. I have a few groups in place for my school- one for each of our School Improvement Plan Action Teams, all of which fit this criteria but haven't heard any official word about this. Plus, I'm wondering how this sponsorship plays into the forum- will we have to put up with more ads, etc.? Has anyone heard anything specific that can be confirmed? If so, please share any contact info. you have. Thanks.