In this module, specifically the Richardson chapter 9 reading assignment, I learned about nigs! This is very exciting to me because in this class I learned that it is really important to incorporate social network sites in the classroom so student can learn how to use them effectively and responsibly. However, I have been very torn on the idea of using facebook in the classroom for a variety of reasons. 1) I think it would be very difficult to get all the parents onboard and there will be some parents that would not allow their students to participate. 2) Some students might be actively avoiding facebook because of bullying issues. 3) In the students minds facebook is very far removed from class and I think it would be difficult to have them in a class mindset on facebook.
Then I read about ning and it answered all my problems. As a teacher you can create your own ning for your own students or collaborate with other teachers to make a bigger network. It does not have the name “facebook” that inspires a knee-jerk reaction from parents and administrators. Comments can be monitored and deleted to prevent bullying. With a facebook group the student would still need to create a facebook accounts that could be targeted by other students. Finally since it is a little different from facebook the students would probably have an easier time getting into an academic mindset. However, it is similar enough that the skills they learn can be transfered to facebook and other social networking sites.
I am very happy to have found out about nings and could see myself using them in a future class.