I am totally immersed in exploring the application of the Ning (and social networks in general) in the classroom. Right now, I have built a ning for my teen media makers class, and am still working with an outsourced web development company on an alumni social network. The GoGlobal international ning has kindof been put on hold for now, but I did apply for a grant to travel to London this summer to meet face to face with the educators involved in that project in the hopes that we can get a project developed for next year.
So far in teenmediamakers.ning.com, we have as a class developed an acceptable use policy. We looked at existing AUPs, such as MySpace’s, Facebooks, and the Ning itself, and then partnered up to develop guidelines in each of the following categories : safety, feedback, language, content, and consequences.
We have next moved into power and roles. Each member is asked to explore and document the “powers” they have inside the ning. I am contemplating giving everyone (there are 8 kids) the same “powers”, as in the power to moderate each other. But we may discuss whether we should elect moderators or not. Much is up in the air!
Next we will look further at identity, and the students will modify their profile by populating it with identifying media, such as photos, videos, text and more, about who they are and where they are from, as a way to connect their “offline” world with their “online” world.
These are all initial thoughts…and I have been seeking more reading and curricula from colleagues…