Hi - We are trying to create a school-centric social network using Ning. The approach is to use a number of online widgets and potentially integrating with Moodle to develop a comprehensive solution that brings together students, teachers and parents. Sort of like a Facebook but with control by the school - not the students.

Please visit a reference site at http://zeboo1.ning.com. If you are willing to provide comments or be part of an advisory board as we shape Ning to be of more pinpoint use to the Education segment, that would be great. Thank you.

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Has anyone created a Ning/Moodle integration? I am wanting to do the same thing, but want to avoid having students and instructors recreate logins. We've integrated Google Apps with Moodle... but haven't found a way to do this with Ning.
Have you done any further work regarding Ning/Moodle integration? We're interested in creating an environment that uese the best of both environments.
Hi Krishani,

I'd like to also recommend you take a look at WiZiQ's Virtual Classroom which is an excellent synchronous platform. Wiziq also has a Moodle plug in.
I don't have suggestions to offer as far as one-log-in convenience from Moodle (we just post a link to the Ning in the Moodle), but I can offer these tips:

Our Ning is site wide so students, teachers, and parents from all the different courses mingle. Some of the courses have their own subgroup set up. For subgroups, you have to selectively open and close the groups tool to set up the groups that everyone decides are a good idea. If you let the kids set up their own groups, I have found that you can get a mass of groups that are totally random and inane and the meaningful ones get lost in the clutter. Expect that some hot topics will pop up on occasion (politics, religion, dating, occasionally rivalries will burst into name calling, etc). We have a blend of ages and parents are there too. So someone will need to play law-maker and law-enforcer to be sure that the conversation and atmosphere stays positive. Our Ning gets about 700 Ning 'Latest Activity' events per week which is significant when you figure in that we are just a small non-profit course co-op.

Not all parents will be comfortable with the Ning idea just as many will not let their kids have a Facebook. Be sure to make it voluntary. Parents often will relax when they feel that they too can set up a member page there and see everything that goes on.

Other areas to be proactive in is how you want to handle the built in e-mail system. Comment wall posts are quite public so the kids tend to do really well there. We have had one or two abuses of the direct e-mail system though. One student was turned in for sexting another student. The other abuse was a rivalry that got out of hand for a bit. One student was involved in both events and was put on 'Ning probation'. We haven't had a problem since then.

Now, after all the tips and warnings I will tell you of how positive it has been. The kids love it. They have shared pictures and videos. They have had some lively and thought provoking discussions. They have built close friendships. Overall, I would say that the Ning has been very successful as a social tool.

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