Ning stays free for educators, with restrictions


Internet buzz about changes to Ning’s price points began in April when an internal Ning memo was leaked to several web sites, announcing the company would cut about 40 percent of its staff, or 70 people.

Ning has proven popular at education conferences nationwide. The Texas Computer Education Association’s 30th annual conference in February included a Ning group for teachers who weren’t able to attend the event in Austin. The conference’s Ning page included summaries of resources that were discussed during sessions and workshops—such as free tips and helpful web sites that educators can use in the classroom and for professional development.

Manny Hernandez, a California-based social media expert who has tracked the uproar that followed Ning’s new policies, included a bevy of Ning alternatives on his blog, AskManny.com.

Options that educators might pursue include Magnify.net, a web-based video platform with 70,000 video channels, and BigTent.com, a network that has forums, file sharing, and membership management, allowing group leaders to approve of network applicants before they can see content on that site. There’s also Gravity.com, a social media site that connects to Twitter and Facebook and connects users to online groups that best fit their personal interests.

Zonkk.com would let educators build social networking sites for their students and fellow teachers and researchers with photo galleries, videos, blogs, micro blogs, polls, and event calendars that all members of a group can see. The site also has paid upgrades and can be created with simple point-and-click options.

Links:


Ning blog

SteveHargadon.com