Please share your advice on setting up a learning network for elementary school students.  i'd love to do a ning for elementary students, but COPA laws say students have to be 13 to engage in activities such as this.  Is anyone using a social network with elementary students?  If so, which one.  If you don't have student identities do you think you can use a Ning if you keep it private? 

 

I, and educators with whom I work, would love to know what others are doing and/or advise.

 

Thanks!

Tags: network, social

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Have you looked at http://www.saywire.com? I was thinking about using it with my college freshmen a few years ago, but it is too locked down for what my students should be able to do. I hope this helps.... Sandy
Hi Lisa!

Have you seen http://wackwall.com/? Looks promising but it's yet another beta.

I already gave you my feedback (answers to these questions) on your facebook page, so you've got all that 411...

Good luck!

-kj-
We have a very active classroom blog. It's safe and 'professional'--no chat, no gossip. Check it out--I've said this before here at CR 2.0 but elementary kids don't need 'social networks'.
I'm familiar with the benefits of blogging with students and I am fluent with how to do that, but I am interested in having a Ning-like network with elementary students. I'd be happy to replace "social" with "learning," but I see a blog as a just a piece of what something like ning offers students, and would love to know if/what folks are using with elementary. Free is preferred. I also think an advantage of using a ning-type network in elementary school is that you set the foundation early for appropriate use.
Have you looked at http://www.edmodo.com/ - more like a FB/Twitter cross than a ning but it's specifically for education.
I agree with you in theory a 'ning' like setting would be great for elementary kids but as I said in another discussion, there are too many nooks and crannies. Not only is there the forum page, but there are individual blogs, potential for chats, and a messaging system. Kids can upload content, video and audio. All it would take is one crude comment or an innapropriate picture or pirated music download to get a teacher in big trouble. I monitor a student blog with 50 blogger kids and it's time consuming enough to read all of their posts and comments, without having to wory about personal spaces, chats, IMs and downloads.

I agree that kids need to know how to use their digital resources appropriately but I think the risk is too great and would never want to put a student in harms way.

I've used technology of all kinds in my classroom over the last 25 years but I still focus on a program where students gaining knowledge is key and if the technology helps out so be it.
I love weebly, and they've just included educator accounts. It's got a simple drag and drop interface. The basics are free, but for about $4/month I upgraded to a professional account- easier to host video and audio files. Also, that $4 covers up to 10 (I believe) separate websites!

It's not really a full social networking site, though. There isn't an included chat box (though you can add an outside one, and some are free) and back and forth discussions seem pretty much limited to blog entries.

Check out the site I am (always) in the process of creating, Portland Free School. It's been a lot of fun, and I can envision using it with a class : )
I think Edmodo is the place to start. I wrote a blog post about social networking in the K-12 classroom, with a run-down on Edmodo and Elgg, as well as some lesson integration ideas. (Teachers are doing some really cool stuff with social networking sites!)

Good luck!

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