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What are the uses of Ning?


Ning has a variety of uses. Super Fans will operate Fan Club Ning Sites for their favorite star or band. In other cases, the star or band members or staff operate the fan site themselves. The Ellen DeGeneres Show Ning is created and run by staff from The Ellen DeGeneres Show and currently as over 35,000 members. SOULJA BOY TELL 'EM is a project conceived by Deep Fried Productions and Cando Entertainment. According to Cando Entertainment, "Interscope Records worked with Cando to develop and relaunch his new social network dedicated to his millions of fans worldwide. The Cando team assisted Interscope in evaluating social network platforms, but ultimately Ning's platform proved to be the clear winner based on features and market share, the choice was obvious." Many companies have created Ning pages for their co-workers to talk and discuss business. Often, these types of Ning pages are restricted to members or alumni of that company. Another interest genre that has taken to Ning is Religion. PaganSpace.net, a Ning group for Pagans, has over 13,000 members to date and Everyone's Apostolic, a Ning page catering to Apostolic Pentacostals, currently has the second highest number of members of all Ning Groups. Because of the attractiveness of a place to congregate on the internet, many of these Ning sites have become exceedingly popular. Hundreds of these Ning Sites have over 1,000 members each.

This is the home page view of Ning.com

Who uses Ning?


These groups could find a common denominator of any type. The beauty of Ning is that many different types of people can use it. From the Indiana Fire and EMS Network to the George Clooney Rules group, anyone and everyone can find something that interests them that is either already a group on Ning or that they could create in a new group about. Indeed, another great thing about Ning is that people can create webpages in their own language. For example, TaiwanYes is a group completely in Chinese and Singles Madrid is a group for single people who live in Spain and is entirely in Spanish. #5

I. History


Ning means peace in Chinese, but the meaning actually has relevance as to why it was picked. The name Ning was picked simply because it "was short, sweet, and wouldn't take away from the main focus of our service: your social networks. We wanted you to have domain names that were easy to remember and emphasized what was unique about your network (Bianchini, 2007)." #2 

I.1 Development


Co-founded by Marc Andreessen and Gina Bianchini, Ning began development in 2004 and launched in October of the following year. Ning is Andreessen's third startup, who is credited for starting bothNetscape(computer service) andOpsware(software company) which gives Ning much credibility. Ning began as a startup company named 24 Hour Laundry and grew to become what is now known as Ning.1

           

Marc Andreessen
 

Gina Bianchini 

I.2 How Ning Works


Joining Ning is easy, but there is a cost. If you are undecided about whether or not you want to use Ning there is a free thirty day trial that you can sign up for. Otherwise there are three different pricing options that you can choose from when signing up for Ning. The first one is called "mini" which is best for small groups and costs $2.95 monthly. The next option is called "plus" which has more advanced options than "mini" and costs $24.95 monthly. The third and final option is called "pro" which has more features than both "mini" and "plus", this option costs $59.95 monthly. When the site is accessed, "Sign In", "Sign Up" or "Popular Sites" can be seen at the top of the page. By clicking on "Sign Up" one can create their own account and immediately start using Ning. Identification information, a password, and verification of existence to prevent spam bots will be required. Once completed, joining of groups or creation of social network pages can begin. Returning to the website is as simple as signing in by entering a login name (email adress) and a user created password.

Individuals can search and join popular networks that others have created within Ning, or create their own social network and website.


To make a social network page within Ning, users must first sign in and the site will display a list of a few popular networks that might interest the user in joining. Also at the top of the page is a section in which new social network pages can be created. The user will then be directed to a setup process for their new page. In the first text box, a custom name for the page can be created, for example a country music fan can create a page called "Country Music Fans". In the second text box, the web address that allows public acess to your network's page will be enterede. Again for example with the country music fans, the web adress could be countrymusicfans.ning.com. The process is simple and and provides instruction on each page. From there users can create and decorate their home page. There are several features to choose from on the home page such as contacts and members, and themes to choose. Also, if you prefer, Ning provides the service of having someone set up your page based on the preferences you give them. There are also privacy settings that can be changed to fit how much privacy the user may want for their page, including blocking others to prevent them from viewing videos, pictures, and information about the page. Ning is full of possibilities for many creative users and creative networks.#8 

 Watch the video below to see how to use Ning.


 Click on this link for Ning.com

I.3 Getting More Out of Ning


As far as uses in the classroom go a Ning page could be used for individual classrooms or Pods(set of rooms that work together). A teacher or Pod could create a page that allows students to check for new homework assignments or view videos that go along with a homework assignment. It can also be a place for students to express ideas/answers to homework problems if they are having trouble figuring out solutions. The only downfall to this would be students giving away all answers to a homework assignment. In this case the teachers can tell the students that they will regularly be checking/monitoring the site to make sure no cheating is going on. And of course instructors will need to make sure that each student has access to a computer at home for this to work. 

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II. How Ning relates to other applications


II.1 Comparison to Competitors

While there are some similarities to Facebook and Myspace in terms of socialization and networking being facilitated, the main function of Ning is to serve the will of an abundance of small groups. Ning is definitely more group orientated than Facebook and Myspace. One appeal of Facebook and Myspace is creating one's own page. Ning is group focused and creating 'your page' is less important. Another appeal of Facebook and Myspace is networking. Networking in Facebook and Myspace is more about finding old, current, and new friends. The networking in Ning is usually associated within the groups so friends are found through common interests. #1

 The graph below shows the growing popularity of Ning.


II.2 Unique Uses

Unlike MySpace and Facebook, Ning is a social network where users can create networks about specific interests. The unique feature of Ning is that anyone can create their own custom social network for a particular topic or need. Ning is also very easy to use. Becoming a member of Ning creating a unique page is as simple as signing up by providing a name and an email address. #1  These are some of the many ways someone can use Ning to interact with others:* interact with fans

  • raise awareness
  • exchange parenting tips
  • connect with event attendees
  • brag about your wheels
  • make your "website"
  • create community with customers
  • unite athletes and sports fans
  • share tricks of the trade
  • discover new recipes and cuisine
  • appreciate independent artists
  • build your career
  • keep in touch with classmates
  • find new travel destinations
    share insights and find support #6

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III. Real World Applications/Demonstration of Educational Value


1. Teachers Helping Teachers: http://teachershelpingteachers.ning.com/
This site is used for teachers to share ideas of things that are working really well in their classroom so others can try out the ideas too. It also allows teachers to express their concerns if they are having trouble with a specific student, so they can receive advice from other teachers. Pictures, videos, and forums are all available on this page. I think a downfall of this website however is that it only has 18 members.
2. Teachers 2.0: http://teachers20.ning.com/
This site is to help educators learn about the new technology that is developing and helps them with learning how to use it. I think this is a great website for older teachers who were not raised in the new technological era because it helps them discover news ways to teach and new ways to reach their students through technology. There are forums and blog posts available on this page. I think this site really works and can be very useful considering it has 275 members to exchange information.

3. International Teachers: http://globalreach.ning.com/
This site allows teachers from anywhere in the world to exchange ideas and lesson plan ideas. The site offers forums, videos, and groups within the site for different kinds of teachers. I think this is a great idea and a very good site. It is actually what our group plans on starting on our own Ning site. The downfall again I see on this site is the number of people involved, being only 286. Again I think in order for it to really be a successful resource more people need to be involved. 
 

III.1 Educational Lesson Plans

These are the various lesson plans that can be used to incorporate Ning into your classroom.

They range from elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education lesson plans.

Lesson 1.docx

Lesson 2.docx

Lesson 3.docx

Lesson 4.docx

Lesson 5.docx

Lesson 1.pdf

Lesson 2.pdf

Lesson 3.pdf

Lesson 4.pdf

Lesson 5.pdf

 Animal Adaptation Lesson Plan.docx

Exploring Horticulture.docx

Forestry Lesson Plan.docx

Animal Adaptation Lesson Plan.pdf

Exploring Horticulture.pdf

Forestry Lesson Plan.pdf


III.2 Business/Industry

 Ning can not only help with creating your own social network, but through your network it provides other options as well. On the business and industry side of things Ning allows users to run their own ads for their business or products it also allows the user to sell branded merchandise. This can be useful to small business owners to large companies wanting to market and sell their products.


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IV. How Ning is used internationally


In today's world, getting connected to areas around the world is becoming more and more important. Ning is used by many people in varying countries. This creates a large opportunity to use Ning as an international tool both inside and outside the classroom. As teachers, we can use this site to communicate with teachers in other parts of the world. This will allow us to learn from the teaching techniques used in other countries. This can add to the students interest and add diversity to our classrooms.

Ning is used in many different countries. While 44.9% of the users are in the US, over half are outside the US. Among these countries India accounts for 4.5% of users, Germany accounts for 2.9% of users, and the UK accounts for 3.5% of Ning users. This creates a vast diversity among the users, not only in geographic location but also in ethinicity, race, and culture.

In the classroom, this tool can be invaluable. Creating an Ning page can allow students from countries around the world to connect with each other. This can add understanding in many different subjects. Students can learn the effects of wars on students in countries that are currently at war or speak to latin students when learning Spanish.

These experiences will not only enhance their learning but also their interest. Connecting with students from other countries can encourage students to think beyond their current environments and promote the diversity of their knowledge.  

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V. References



  1. Ning Wikipedia Article
  2. The Story Behind the Ning Name
  3. The Ning Platform: A Few Updates
  4. Ning Help
  5. Ning Networks
  6. About Ning: Why Create a Social Network?
  7. Ning Overview
  8. [Pod Tech: Build your own social space with Ning, version 2|http://www.podtech.net/home/2239/build-your-own-social-

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39 Comments

  1. Unknown User (atull)

    Hi, I'm Anna Tull. I do not really have a favorite movie, I have lots of favorites. I like all kinds except for scary ones. One of my favorite movies is A Cinderella Story. My hobbies including playing soccer, I like to workout, scrapbook, take pictures, sleep, and hangout with friends.

  2. Unknown User (jkrebsba)

    Welcome to Group 29.  We will be doing research on Ning, a social network that is similar to Facebook.  I am the project manager and am looking forward to working with everyone to complete this project.  If you have any questions on the work we are conducting here, please feel free to contact me via email.  Remember, dream and dream big!

  3. Unknown User (crbradle)

    Hi, I am Christa. I don't have any free time so I don't have time for hobbies or movies. I own a business and I also do photography work on top of school so that takes up all my time I have that I am not at school or taking care of my family.

  4. Unknown User (aczarnec)

  5. Unknown User (skwalker)

    Hi, I'm Stefani Walker.  I don't have a favorite movie either but I like sappy romantic "chick" movies.  My boyfriend of 4 1/2 years is in the Marine Corps and is currently stationed in Camp Legeune North Carolina.  I don't know if you guys remember this but if we get 94% or higher on this project we do not have to take the final.  From what I have heard about the final it is an essay exam that WILL take 2 hours to complete and WILL be hard.  So let's all put our best foot forward and get a good grade!! 

  6. Unknown User (hmcox)

    Hey guys my name is Heather and i like a lot of movies...i love having movie-a-thons...i actually watched 20 movies once in like 2 days..kinda crazy...and yea i agree about getting an A on this..lets kick some butt!

  7. Unknown User (jkrebsba)

    Thank you Stefani for posting that about the final exam, I forgot to mention that.  But yes, if we get a "superior" rating for this project (94% or higher), we will not have to take the final.  Dr. Newby said that basically the final sucks and that it will take the whole 2 hours.  The grade is not individual, but dependent on how the group does as a whole.

  8. Unknown User (hmcox)

    o yea and p.s i think it would be great if we could get our own Ning website up and running soon because i think it would be awesome if we could contact a lot of teachers throughout the world to joing, so that by the time our presentation day comes we can show just how many members we have aquired and how we are trying to put this educational resource into effect now...

  9. Unknown User (hmcox)

    Hey guys, so i was just doing some hunting on how we can contact the owner/maker of Ning and i couldn't find his personal contact info. but i found 2 articles that have reporters interviewing the founder,Marc Andreessen, and i e-mailed both of those reporters, so hopefully we will here something back from this with at least his e-mail address, if not i guess we will keep looking...

  10. Unknown User (hmcox)

    hey i actually found him on facebook and friended him and sent him a message...so if he replies back we need to get some questions ready to give him that he can answer for us...if you guys want to post some question ideas that i could give him that would be great..

  11. Unknown User (hmcox)

    ok so one of the people who wrote the articles forwarded my e-mail to Marc and he replied back to him sorry but that he was too jamed right now to answer questions...i will try to find Gina the other founder person and see if she might be able to help us out...

  12. Unknown User (jkrebsba)

    Keep up the good work Heather, sounds like you're making some progress.  If you need any help getting in touch with people, you can ask Stefani Brittany for assistance; they are both working on contacts as well.

  13. Hi all in Ning,

    Your progress is behinde. In the end of this week, your inital draft of each chapter should be due. Make sure you can bring them out by Sunday(11/9) midnight!

    I'll suggest your team start to write the chapter as soon as possilbe. If you have time, just put a small portion a day. In the end of this week, make sure you guys fill up initial draft in each children page of your chapter. Take group two- Teacher-tube as an example. Then you will know how much you should put in. It's kind of when you are doing the quiz during the lab. Present your topic points with a sentence and give examples with good details. Then it will be a good paragraph for a sub question.

    The main tasks are search information  and write your personal reflection about Ning's application in educational settings:
    think about the following questions. (just a reminder. Please use your imagination to bring more ideas)
    *users' needs( teacher, students, parents, administrative, researcher, instructional designer...),,
    * goals/purposes,
    *context(subjects, disciplines, school level, learning space/environments)..
    * instructional methods and examples (how to apply in a lesson)
    * learning activities...

    As to the 10 questions list by Dr. Newby, they are not written in stone. So your team can base on your web 2.0 to add in or trim some of the questions to make it more meaningful to your application.

    Hope I've answered your questions. Anything I can do, please let me know.

    Best, Shih-Ping (smile)

    1. Unknown User (websterm)

      I thought our initial drafts were due on the 14th?

       That's what the schedule says.

  14. Unknown User (hmcox)

    Hey guys so i think we should each choose one of the questions to research and answer i think it would be best if A&B are combined that way it is pretty even for each person.  I will take letter G.

  15. Unknown User (hmcox)

    These are the questions we need to answer 

    a. What is the title of the application? Who developed it?

    b. What is the purpose of the application (that is, what does it do)?

    c. How does it work? Briefly, what does one have to do to start using it?

    d. How is it related to other applications (that is, can it be used in

    conjunction with other applications)?

    e. What are some unique ways of using this application?

    f. How could the application be used within an educational/learning

    situation?

    1) elementary

    2) secondary

    3) post secondary

    4) business/industry

    g. What are some examples (e.g., web sites) of it being used to illustrate its

    current educational value or potential value?

    h. For those teams with international partners, how is the application used in

    their countries? Are there unique features of the application that may be

    more relevant to those outside of the US?

  16. Unknown User (bsmercer)

    HI, I am Brittany Mercer.  I am currently working in a daycare.  I have a boyfriend who goes to Purdue with me.  I am also dealing with some health issues with myself and my grandmother.  I will try to get everything done that I am suppost to get done. I am making a lot of trips home to see a specialists and to see my grandmother who is in the hospital so it may take me some time to respond to any comments.  If anyone thinks I am behind or confused, please let me know because overall I am very confused, just let me know in a nice way.

  17. Unknown User (mdelks)

    Hey Group! Keep up the good work!

  18. Unknown User (skwalker)

    I just made us a Ning page.  It is a VERY rough outline so feel free to update it and add things you think it needs.  I'm not sure if I have to invite you all to the page or if you can find it and add yourselves but you will need to become a Ning member.  Here is the link to the page:  http://edci270project2.ning.com/       Maybe you guys could all sign up for Ning and let me know so I can invite you to the page.  I think we all need to do this soon so we can get our Ning page going.  Like I said I just made a VERY rough outline of a page. 

  19. Unknown User (skwalker)

    So I guess we can all ignore the ning I made.  I had no idea we already had one started I didn't see it at the top of the page.  But there are only like 6 of us.  I REALLY want to get a good grade on this so we DO NOT HAVE TO TAKE THE FINAL so I encourage everyone to check confluence and our ning daily to get this project going!!!

  20. Unknown User (hmcox)

    hey guys...soo i thinkwe are still really behind on a lot of things. We really need to kick it in gear now. I was looking at some other groups progress and we are really no where close. I think everyone should check out what other groups are doing and see from that what you can add/contribute more to our project. I a working on the elementary lesson plan ideas tonight and will have them posted by tomorrow afternoon.

  21. Unknown User (skwalker)

    I agree with Heather I think we need to step it up.  If you have signed up to do something you should start talking to the other people that are signed up with you so we can get things crossed off our list.  We need to knock things off our list during the week and not just in lab on Fridays.  A lot of people aren't contributing and haven't even signed up to be a member of our Ning.  Please do so! 

  22. Unknown User (skwalker)

    I just updated the related applications section.  If anyone wants to add some more info feel free to do so.  Or if you have suggestions of something I can add let me know!

  23. Unknown User (hmcox)

    I checked out your part Stefani and it looks good with the graphics and all, the only thing we could maybe add is a little blurp about how we believe Ning is better/more useful in the class than myspace and facebook. I don't know if you already have ideas or not yet, but if not i will help you think of some and get back to you. Right now i'm thinking we could say something about how Ning will personally secure pages for uses in elementary settings. I found this link below that stated the following so maybe you could add something like that!

    http://langwitches.org/blog/2007/12/22/best-web-20-applications-for-elementary-school/

    Ning_Create your own social network place for your students. Ning will even remove the ads, if you write to them that they are for elementary school students. Great potential to teach our younger students about social networkign in a safe environment.

  24. Unknown User (hmcox)

    hey guys so i have another idea, i know we created a Ning site that we could have teachers use to exchange ideas and lesson plans around the world. But i was also thinking that maybe we could create a Ning to show at/on our presentation day that looks like a Ning page that a specific classroom might have. For example, Mrs. XYZ's classroom. That way we could show potential teachers what a page could look like if they chose to use it and how they could post videos on it for their kids to watch or how their kids could post discussion comments, or check for homework assignments. I was thinking we could post like at least one video, one word/h.w document and such so we could show teachers exactly how it would work and how easy it is! let me know what you guys think. If you like the idea i can start searching for a video/word doc. to put on it!

  25. Unknown User (jkrebsba)

    though you guys have good ideas, don't worry too much about sites right now.  we need to continue to fill the sections up with info.  if you feel a section looks pretty meaty, review and look for any errors.

  26. Unknown User (bsmercer)

    So I was thinking that it would be really neat to be able to have like a recording of the process of how to sign up on Ning, how to create a group, etc..  I thought if we had this going while we were doing the show thing, it would be neat.  I don't know if you like this idea or not but I thought I would throw it out there.

    1. Unknown User (jkrebsba)

      yes, i would like doing a video of a person going through the process on the computer and having a narrative throughout it.

      1. Unknown User (svwillia)

        I found a video of the Co-founder explaining how to join and use Ning. I posted it on 'How to Join Ning'.

  27. Unknown User (crbradle)

    I wanted to let everyone know, my mother is a teacher and the president of ISTA in northern IN. She is currently in the process of getting the NING site unblocked from her school district. She is going to request the teachers there join our wiki in order to further our project. It should be a couple of days before that happens.

  28. Unknown User (bsmercer)

    I have  worked on the history a bit.  I did everything I know to do.  Are there any other suggestions besides what needs to take place next week?

  29. Unknown User (mdelks)

    Hey group! Sorry I couldn't be in lab this past Friday. I have been working on the brochure that our group will be presenting in December. I will have a rough copy created by tonight. If anyone has any suggestions for me for the future that would be great. Other than that keep up the good work!

  30. Unknown User (svwillia)

  31. Unknown User (skwalker)

    Hey group I just wanted to give some last minute encouragement to everyone!  I think our page has really grown!  Lets keep up the good work and aim for that 64!!!

  32. Unknown User (bsmercer)

    I e-mailed these things to Joe.  Do any of you see some changes other than these that need to be made before Thursday?  I think our page is looking good... just be sure to look over it again to not only be ready for the showcase but to make any necessary last minute corrections. 

    In background:
     
       1. There needs to be a space before "Recent" in the bullets to make it line up.
       2. There needs to be a dollar sign in front of 4.95/month in the last sentence.

    Joining Ning:

       1. The link at the bottom needs to be an actual link

    Standards section in the table:

       1. ?coming soon?  I do not know what this means

    References:

       1. The second link needs to actually be linked.

    1. Unknown User (hmcox)

      i changed the part on the standards. I didn't know though if we wanted to stick with the lesson plan that is up or change it to the one that is more geared to secondary education with the discussion boards(this is prob. more for Joe since i sent him that lesson plan).

  33. Unknown User (skwalker)

    Hey guys I'm a little confused.  I thought each group could pick presenters but in lecture on Monday it sounded like we are all supposed to present.  Do you know which is true?  Also, what should we be wearing tomorrow night?

  34. Unknown User (hmcox)

    i think there are going to be a few main presenters, but all of us need to be semi-prepared to answer questions in case there are a lot of people that view our station at a time. And dress i would guess should be like business casual. Nice pants and a dress shirt.