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English- Ning 349

Page history last edited by Kerstin Rue 9 years, 11 months ago









                                 Dynamics of Ning in the Classroom


What is Ning

Ning is an online platform that utilizes social networking to allow a variety of people to come together and experience a network that is tailored to their interests and passions. There are currently 300,000 operating networks that focus on a multitude of topics. From business to entertainment, Ning is enjoyed by millions of individuals. Though Ning comes with a fee, there are three separate packages that are relatively inexpensive. Ning provides users a place to share photos, videos, or blogs. All members are given their own profile to share individual information. And network creators have a choice to have an open network where membership is open to all users, or a closed network where members only enter the network through an invitation.


     Traffic Analytic: Below is a chart, provided by cruchbase.com, that demonstrates the measured use of Ning.







Bringing Ning into the Classroom

Bringing Ning into the classroom allows teachers to extend their classroom to an online vicinity. Ning is a tool teachers can use to get students engaged in their learning. Ning provides teachers with the ability to fully immerse students into their content by providing students with a site that they can confidently share projects, assignments, videos and so forth. Ning permits teachers to present lessons that are beyond surface level learning, for students are able to go beyond classroom expectations with the use of tool that they can access most anywhere outside of the classroom. Furthermore, Ning provides students with a safe place to have classroom discussion; this is particularly helpful in getting passive students to engage in classroom conversation. With Ning learning becomes multifaceted and meaningful, students are given the opportunity to connect with one another, and teachers are able to better connect with their students. Ultimately, Ning is a social media tool that promotes social learning.


Ning provides students with . . .

  • An opportunity to blog
  • A place to share videos
  • A place to post photos
  • Individual profiles: students are able to learn to represent themselves online
  • Discussion opportunities through a forum
  • A calendar
  • A place to keep their notes





  Concerns with Ning

  A common concern in using social networking sites to further students’ education is  that students may use sites to bully other students or to post inappropriate material. Though students may abuse the purpose of the social network, teachers are able to catch inappropriate behaviors and discontinue/prevent them by actively monitoring the network.









What Other Literacy Teachers Are Doing with Ning

Tammy Maxson:

“The October/November 2009 issue of N.E.A today has an article called Turning the Page: Students live in a Digital World Are Schools Ready To Join Them? This article suggested that we may be, as educators, adapting too slowly to the digital age because of inadequate funding and /or bureaucracy. Although this article did have some shining examples of individuals using the social medias online to enhance the educational experience. Tara Seale, a ninth-grade English teacher has a wonderful idea for using Web 2.0 to teach Romeo and Juliet. The students go online to Ning.com, a class-only media group, were the students pose as characters in the play in discussion forums."


Seale writes,” Posting in character got them more engaged,and gave them confidence to tackle the language. They even took a stab at writing couplets and shared them on Ning.” Seal adds “Being literate today means more than reading words on a printed page and writing an essay.”’ (http://education.ning.com)


Greg Limperis: 

Last summer, I was asked to help integrate technology into a Summer Literature Circle being held at my school for advanced and gifted students. In an effort to make the curriculum engaging and current, I suggested integrating social media such as Ning, Glgoster, ToonDoo and more into part of the student's day. Teachers created groups in a Ning site we created that was locked down. Students who were in the summer Lit Circle were the only ones invited in and all postings were moderated and approved first. Groups were formed for all groups and teachers started posting assignments that students had to log onto the site and do. Polls based on reading, glogs on books, Cartoons created as extensions to the readings were just some of the things embedded into the Ning. Students did audio book reviews, video explanations of books and pictures were all uploaded to the site. Students were often required to post an answer to a question and then comment on someone else's answer. The shot 4 week summer school session flew by.”


Screen Shot of a Teacher’s Ning:








Example of Lesson Plans Involving Ning

High school lesson plan involving research and debate provided by: https://wiki.itap.purdue.edu/display/Social/Ning+Lesson+PlansBottom of Form




1. Students will be able to navigate through a Ning page.
2. Students will discuss and debate topics with classmates through a Ning discussion.

Learning environment


The students would be in a secondary computer lab environment.  Each student will work quietly and diligently at their own computer to accomplish the objectives.  If computers are available at home for each student part of the discussion can also be done at home computers.

Description of students

Secondary Students




One computer per student with internet access.


  1. The instructor will lecture the students on being productive and the importance of presenting factual information during the discussion/debate.
  2. Instructor will divide class into two groups.  Each group will be assigned a side of a debate found in literature.


Students will be asked to research their specific side and post their information on the class' Ning page.  They will also be commenting on the opposing sides information to debate the topics.  Each side wants to fight for why their argument is better than the other.  Students should present factual information and participate equally in researching and the discussion portion on Ning.



The instructor will periodically check the Ning page to make sure research is quality and that each group member is equally participated.  Overall students will be graded on their participation in the project both within the research and discussion sections.



https://wiki.itap.purdue.edu/display/Social/Ning+Lesson+PlansBottom of Form






Middle School Lesson plan framing the class novel - Provided by https://wiki.itap.purdue.edu/display/Social/Ning+Lesson+Plans


1. Students will be able to navigate through a Ning page.
2. Students will acquire knowledge of a certain culture/country that they will encounter in their reading.
3. Students will interact with other students by posting their discoveries on the classroom's Ning page, while responding to others discoveries.

Learning environment

The students would be in a computer lab environment. Students may have discussions with their peers sitting near them as long as the discussion aligns with the assignment.

Description of students


Students 6th- 8th




One computer per student with internet access.



1. Instructor will first hand out links to pages on specific cultures/countries for the students.
2.  The instructor will go over expectations with students.
3. Finally, the instructor will stress the importance of the students posting their discoveries on the class' Ning site and also the importance of responding to other students' findings.
4. Instructor should make it apparent that they will be checking up on the postings by each student on the class' Ning page.



Students will be asked to research a culture/country that they are interested in through Ning pages.  They will be required to use the Ning pages that the teacher provides to find factual information.  After the students have attained a quality/thorough amount of information on their specific culture or country, they will then post their findings on the class' Ning page.  They are to post at least 5 facts that they discovered that they did not know before.  After posting their information each student should read the discoveries of other students and respond to their findings.  Some questions that the students can research about their specific career are listed below.
1. Where is this culture located?
2. What kind of foods do they eat?
3. What is a typical day like for a student in this culture?
4. What traditions do they have?
5. What is the history of this culture or country?

6. What are some of the norms that align with this culture.
With the instructors discretion, students could even take this further by setting up a pen-pal through Ning to update each other on their lives and learn even more about each others cultures.


The instructor will evaluate the class' Ning page to make sure each student has posted the correct number of facts about their researched culture or country.  They will also check back to make sure students are commenting on other students' discoveries.


Getting Started





Step 1: Once online go to the following site:  http://www.ning.com/

Step 2: On the top left hand side of the page is a large orange button that states “Get Started Now” – Click on this button.

Step 3: Decide on which of the three packages best suites your needs: mini, plus, or pro. Often, the mini offers the necessary essentials in having an effective networking site for students.

Step 4: Once you have decided which packet is best for your student body, click on "sign up." This will take you to a page that allows you to enter your personal information, make a payment for the site, and decide upon the a name for your network. –Be sure to signify if you want your group to be a public group or a private group.

          Public: Open to all members of Ning

          Private: Only open to members you invite.


Using Your New Account

Now that your network has been created, customize the network to fit the culture of your classroom.

          Step 1: Begin inviting students to join the network.

          Inviting students to join requires having their or their parents email addresses. 

          Step 2: Configure lay out.

          Step 3: Decide upon which features you intend to make available to the students.






Ready, Set, Go

        Your network is configured and ready to be used.

At the top of your screen is eight choices: Main, Invite, My Page, Members, Photos, Videos, Blogs, and My Network.


Main: The main page shows the latest activities taking place on the network, who the members are in your network, and how to upload photos, videos, and blogs for the network to view. 


Invite: Allows you to import the email addresses of the people you want to invite to your network


My Page: Is your profile page available to others. Allows you to upload photos, view your latest activities, provides you with a text box, and a comment box.


Members: Shows a running list of all the networks members.


Photos: Allows you to upload photos to site.


Videos: Allows you to upload videos to site.


Blogs: Allows you to upload blogs to site.


My Network: Provides you with all the settings for the network. This page allows you to make changes to your network, change your password, etc.
















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