Using Ning as a School Social Network
Session Description:

Harness the power of Social Networking in your class or school with a Ning network. Creating a Ning network for your students, class, school or district sparks cross-district and global friendship, sharing, collaboration, and learning. Come and learn how to set up a Ning, some tips & tricks for getting started, and ideas for use.


What is Ning?

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According to Wikipedia, "Ning is an online platform for users to create their own social websites and social networks. The unique feature of Ning is that anyone can create their own custom social network for a particular topic or need, catering to specific audiences."

What is unique about Ning?
  • Ning is unique in that is one of the only free platforms with which someone, anyone, can create their own social network.
  • Although there are other sites to create social networks, Ning is very easy to use, customize, and manage.
  • Best of all, it's free and educators K-12 who use it can get the advertisements removed for free.
  • Creators have complete control over their networks including the selection of features, color theme for the site, images on the site, set-up of the pages, permissions of users, privacy settings and so much more.
  • To learn more about Ning and view a full list of features, click HERE.

But what is a social network?
Check out this quick explanatory video from Common Craft:

Why use Ning in School?

  • An abundance of features:
    • Profile pages - each member can customize and add content and applications
    • Groups - private or public
    • Discussion Forums - global or in groups
    • Blogging - all built in
    • Video and Photo sharing, with the ability to add comments
    • Live chat
    • Music
  • Walled Garden Approach: Nings can be private or public, depending on your needs with different moderation settings.
  • Allows for true differentiation and personalized learning.
  • 24/7 availability of discussions, resources, communication and collaboration.
  • Allows for easy local, state, and global collaboration.
  • Can be used both synchronously and asynchronously.
  • Can use your Ning as your "one stop shop" for everything you'd like to do online with your students.
  • Can be used for digital portfolios - students post their work to their pages.
  • Ning in Education Ning

Why use Ning for Professional Development?

  • The online environment is suited for some people's time frames and learning styles.
  • Allows for 24/7 availability of discussions, resources, communication and collaboration.
  • Collaboration can be both synchronous and asynchronous.
  • Collaboration can occur cross-district with faculty from other schools, grade levels and subject areas.
  • It evolves into a virtual storehouse for resources, tools, tips, tricks and communication.
  • It serves as a way to share best practices without having to take formal in-service time to do so.
  • Sharing of resources that are specific to grade and subject as well as general resources valuable to all.
  • An easy-to-use platform for communication and information dissemination to all members.

Wissahickon's Ning

Visit WSD Professional Learning Network

The employees of WSD have their own Ning network called the WSD Professional Learning Network. It is closed to the public and accessible only by invitation.

Watch the video below to learn more about WSD's Ning.

Live video chat by Ustream

How to Create a Ning

Although the screenshots in some of these resources are outdated since Ning's facelift, the information is still relevant and helpful.

Complete Step-by-Step Tutorial

(Thanks to Anthony Armstrong for creating and sharing the website above)

How to Create a Ning Network

Tutorial Slideshow - How to Create and Use a Ning Network

(Thanks to Liz Davis for creating and sharing the presentation above)

Check out YouTube and Ning Help for even more tutorials and how-tos!

Educational Nings

Pennsylvania Nings

School & Subject Area Nings

Resource Nings

Global Nings