Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ning: Connect, Share, Learn

Ning: Connect, Share, Learn

I've been facilitating adult learners for more than 20 years and I have always valued the relationships I have built with other educators. When I started my career in adult ed I had a wonderful mentor, Jane Mills. Jane was there as my sounding board and resource person. She willingly gave her time and provided support as I was learning the ropes. Through her example, I learned the importance of sharing, listening, responding and seeing things from new perspectives. Over the years I have done my best to follow her example.

I work at building relationships with educators I have met along the way. I am eager to share resources, network and help when I can. The great thing is that the more I give, the more I receive!

Flash forward to 2009-2010: A year ago I joined Twitter and I am amazed with the Personal Learning Network (PLN) that I have developed. I am connected with educators from around the world and what a professional development gift that has been! In the past year I have discovered Ning and have expanded my network even more. A Ning is a place to connect, share, grow, ask questions, discuss, post videos, share events, post photos and so much more. The best news is that all of this is free, free, free!

The Educators' PLN is a Ning created as a "personal learning network for educators". This dynamic space is ripe with discussion on education, full of thought-provoking videos and so much more. I encourage you to check it out.

The Classroom 2.o Ning is a social network for those interested in Web 2.o and social media in education. One of the reasons that I am promoting this Ning is for their offerings of free webinars on a variety of subjects. They also have discussion forums, groups and a range of other activities. My time exploring Classroom 2.o has been time well spent.

You can also build your own Ning. One that I have helped out with is the CNIE 2010 Conference Ning. This conference takes place in Saint John this May and I am working on the planning committee. We set up the Ning for participants to connect before, during and after the conference.

I also created my first Ning for my students, PROG 1093. This group of students are exploring Web 2.0 and the Ning is our meeting place.

If Jane could see me today I know that she would be proud that I am continuing to connect, share and learn with my colleagues via tools like Nings.

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