Wednesday, May 14, 2008

More Nings for Students and Educators

At the Social Networks in Education wiki, you can find dozens of Nings for particular subjects, professional development, French and Spanish, and classroom networks. Many of these Nings connect students globally and can be great tools for your middle schoolers. Or you can modify them to fit your plans and students, find some collaborators, or be inspired to change or add to some of your classroom practices.

You can find all kinds of Nings, and some non-Ning networks, on the page. Some of the Nings made expressly to connect students and teachers globally are listed below:
  • FieldFindr aims to connect global volunteers with teachers and their students. Teachers can post looking for volunteers or people who have expert knowledge to enrich their classes' study of immigration, peace studies, playgrounds, and the Holocaust. Teachers can also search for other collaborators through posted comments.
  • The International Classroom, a social network created specifically for students ages 12-14 to be able to safely connect and share their experiences and cultures, and The French Connection, a Ning linking sixth-grade classes in the U.S. and France for French language study, are both closed. You must be invited to participate or learn more.
  • Rolling on the River is centered around the study of rivers and other bodies of water. It is a "a resource for global collaboration" where users can "[s]hare information, find global partners, and learn more about rivers, lakes, and oceans through participation and collaboration." An interdisciplinary exhibit can be seen at the Apple Learning Exchange. Teachers also share web resources and search for collaborators on specific water studies projects.
  • Museums and Students offers a portal to connect students with museums, their staff, and artists. It exploits one of the great aspects of Nings--the multimedia nature of interaction. Museums and Students has videos of artists discussing their works and processes, links for a podcast from the Columbia Museum of Art and other art-related podcasts, notices of art-education events and professional development opportunities, additional groups that focus on particular museums or topics, and forums on museums' online presence and the value of virtual tours.
Most of what you'll find on the wiki are class Nings -- many private -- and social networks for teachers looking for more information or colleague interaction and support as they use or learn to integrate Web 2.0 tools into their teaching and disciplines. As we slide all too quickly into summer, this wiki can be a great resource for new ideas, new friends, and inspiration for next year and beyond.

SOURCE: "Social Networks in Education" 2008
photo courtesy of openDemocracy, used under this Creative Commons license

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