Ning and the Institute of Learning

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We recently came across Educause’s 7 Things You Should Know About Ning article. The series focuses on a technology — in this case, having a social network on Ning. It gives an overview of the product, as well as where it is going and why it matters to world of teaching, learning and technology from an educational standpoint. From Educause:

Ning provides an avenue for instructors to take advantage of social networks in a neutral setting, offering functionality and an experience that are familiar and comfortable to students. By creating social networks around academic topics, or even about specific projects for a course, an instructor can facilitate a strong sense of community among the students, encouraging personal interactions that can lead to the creation of new knowledge and collective intelligence.

We’re thrilled to see education-focused networks having positive effects in the educational community, and we’re thrilled that people are using the Ning platform in the education sector. And Educause doesn’t appear to the only educators espousing the benefits of creating social networks. Mark Greenfield, one of the guys behind the recently blogged University Web Developers, talks about the benefits of his network:

For me, the site has been very beneficial. I have received excellent feedback on a number of questions and ideas. More importantly, I’ve met many new people involved with higher ed web development and these relationships will prove valuable down the road.

Social networking is a part of what the Web has always been about: the facilitation of conversations on topics that people are passionate about. And we’re delighted to offer a way to make that conversation a little bit easier in the educational community.

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