Ning (Reflection Thread)

Like many others have stated, I too had no idea what NING was. When I went to the first page and it said create a NING community, I did not know what to do, as I hadn’t a clue as to what I would create a community about. It was then that I noticed the “Discover NING Networks You’ll Love” link and upon clicking it the purpose of NING became more clear to me.

I like NING because it was easy to navigate through the categories and find NING networks to join. Thus far I have joined three NING communities: ISTE, K12 Online Conference, and TLNING (Teacher Librarian Ning). In these communities, professionals post wiki’s, blogs, videos, and general discussion posts about anything related to the content of the overall NING. For example on the K12 Online Conference, I visited several posts which included: using iPod touches in the classroom, using the many features/applications of Google to better integrate technology into the classroom, Professional Development resources (for multiple subject areas), as well as a video and discussion revolving around Copyright usage in the classroom.

My favorite NING was the TLNING. This site had great diversity in the posts and discussion forums. I found postings about SLM conferences, integrating new technology into the library, as well as how to use social networking both in and out of the classroom. Aside from these type of posts, there were also posts that dealt with issues one might find at schools: computer lab scheduling conflicts, teachers not utilizing the resources and how to motivate them to do so, reading activities such as Books Across America, etc. These kinds of posts really let the voices of the librarians shine through, and I appreciated how the NING wasn’t completely driven by technology. I also found Twitter pages for several school libraries as well as a few job listings for schools that needed Media Specialists. The overall vibe I felt from this NING is that these members truly love their jobs and genuinely want to discuss ideas and hear about the experiences of their colleagues in different communities.

NING seems like a worthwhile item to pass on to my own colleagues at school. I like how the spheres are not public—this way it ensures that only those who want to participate in sharing and learning from others are involved in the community. NINGs present much valuable information, and I hope that by sharing the existence of NING with fellow staff members, they can take advantage of all that is offered.

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