Social Networking

Social networking, especially with Facebook, is one of the fastest growing phenomena in the world. It allows you to connect and share virtually with others... even those who you have not formally met.

Facebook remains the fastest growing and biggest social networking site in the world. But with Facebook comes baggage, real or perceived, and it is often frowned upon using in an educational setting. Instead, there are open source options, like Nings, that create communities online. These options have many of the same features as Facebook, including built-in RSS feeds, image/video sharing, public forums, groups, posting (and registering for) events, and the infamous "wall".

Here is a quick overview to the concept of social networking.

Twitter offers a different form of social networking. While Facebook and Nings are usually set up to moderate connection (meaning, collaboration usually goes 2-ways), Twitter features a lot of 1-way communication. In some ways, you are talking to an unknown audience, which is a bit strange at first. On the other hand, Twitter allows you easier access to educators around the world. You don't have to get into their social circle to collaborate with them... you can literally find them via a Twitter search and follow their posts.

Joining Classroom 2.0

The process for joining a ning--or even setting up one yourself, for that matter--is as straight forward as joining Twitter. Here are the steps to join Classroom 2.0.

1. Go to Classroom 2.0's website
2. Below you will see a screenshot of the site. Taking a moment to look at the site, you can get a taste of some of the things it offers. There are tabs across the top for forums and media (photos and videos that participants have shared) Under the "more" tab, there are groups to join, events to take part in, and the site's wiki. Looking on the page itself, you will see some welcome information and a description of the upcoming webinar events.

To join, click on the "sign up" link at the top.
Classroom 2.0 Screenshot
Classroom 2.0 Screenshot

3. On the next screen, type in your registration information for your free account. Click the "sign up" button when you are finished.
sign up for classroom 2.0
sign up for classroom 2.0

4. On the next screen, you will update some information on your profile. Only the Full Name is required, but adding in additional information might strengthen further connections. Just like other free accounts, you will choose what you feel is important to add.

When you are finished, click the "join" button to complete.
Profile info
Profile info

Once you are finished creating an account, you are set to begin exploring. There is much you can do (and it can be a bit intimidating!) Here are some tips from the facilitators at the Ning.

  • Never posted anything online before? Consider replying to someone else's FORUM or BLOG post.
  • Want to start a discussion? Create a FORUM discussion.
  • Want to give your opinion and have others comment on it? Create a BLOG post.
  • Want to keep track of all new FORUM discussions? Use the FORUM RSS feed.
  • Want to keep track of all new BLOG posts? Use the BLOG RSS feed.
  • Want to track all the comments to a FORUM discussion or a BLOG post? Look for the RSS feed on the discussion or post page.
  • Want to keep track of all FORUM discussions and replies? Use this RSS feed.
  • Need help understanding what RSS is? See this video.