Ning is an online service that allows users to create their own social networks and join and participate in other networks. No technical skill is required to set up a social network, and there are no limits to the number of networks a user can join. Users of Ning social networks have access to functionality similar to that of more well-known social networks, such as Facebook and MySpace. Various features allow users to read news or learn about related events, join groups, read and comment on blog entries, view photos and videos, and other activities as set up by the network creator. RSS feeds let users subscribe to updates from specific parts of the social network.
The "7 Things You Should Know About..." series from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) provides concise information on emerging learning technologies. Each brief focuses on a single technology and describes what it is, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning. Use these briefs for a no-jargon, quick overview of a topic and share them with time-pressed colleagues.
In addition to the "7 Things You Should Know About…" briefs, you may find other ELI resources useful in addressing teaching, learning, and technology issues at your institution. To learn more, please visit the ELI Resources page.