Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Ning Approacheth . . .

A group of 5 educators from our school has been participating this year with Will Richardson's and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach's Powerful Learning Practice consortium. Many things have come about as a result of our work there but our big project is to build a Ning network for teachers at our school.

Our school has experienced tremendous growth in the past ten years. This brings about "growing pains" when it comes to issues like communication and collaboration among colleagues. We have been looking for something that would increase the opportunities for sharing among our faculty without requiring significantly more time in meetings. We believe the Educational Network that we are starting in Ning will provide just that.

Why do it?

To effectively provide for sharing, collaboration, and communication among GACS faculty.
To streamline our resources into one portal.
Provide an avenue for discussions on school improvement efforts identified through research.
To work together on issues that impact teaching and learning daily.

What's on it?

Modeled after the PLP network on Ning
Delicious bookmarks
Resources, including videos

Important departmental discussions
Continued conversations from PLU classes
Modeling 21st century skills through staff development classes
Portal for all Web 2.0 tools

Groups, like Tech Guides, can have designated space
Faculty book discussions
Interest area groups

This week we began a "campaign" to educate our faculty about the Ning. Most have never even heard the word "Ning" before. This will be a whole new experience into the world of social networking for a lot of them. Our idea is to send out email messages that pique their interest and then send out an invitation outlining what to do to get going on the network. After one of our consortium members sent out the first two emails, she received some great feedback.
This is what the email looked like:

One of our teachers replied to it with, "Yes, yes and yes. I can't wait!"

This past Thursday I worked with a group of 5 teachers on different web 2.0 tools. We spent our time together discussing the Ning, getting registered on it and exploring it. One of the participants started his own group. Another kept saying, "This is great! Look at all of these great resources!"
This week has been very encouraging. The hope is that this new tool will make a difference not only for our connections with each other as teachers but also for our students' educational experience.



Anonymous Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach said...

Will and I are cheering as your project takes off! Congrats!
Thanks for all the value added you gave to the community this year. I learned a great deal from you.

Thanks also for the help you gave us in Alabama.

April 19, 2008 at 8:41 AM  

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