Thursday, June 24, 2010


Ning is the leading online platform to create your own social network. With a Ning you can connect with people who have similar interests, you have total visual power to make it your own, you can connect to social networking sites like twitter, Facebook, and MySpace, and you can also run your own adds and have 100% of the profits.

When we talked about Nings in class, I thought that it was really neat that you could create your own social network. Right after we talked about it, I decided I had to set one up and get started. So, I have set up a Ning for my school's Instrumental Music program. I have been thinking about different ways that I can use this to facilitate communication with the parents and students at my school.

Typically, at the beginning of the year, I send home an information sheet with all of my students. I collect parents' email addresses and remain in contact with them throughout the year. I create different mailing lists for my different ensembles, and it seems to work out pretty well. When I heard about Ning, I thought that this would be even better! With the Ning there are all sorts of features that you can add and remove to create exactly what you want. Here is a picture of my Ning-
You may notice that it has a similar layout to a Facebook/MySpace page. There is a section on my Ning for posting photos and videos which would come in handy for the concert. There is also a section to post a blog or comments. You can add many features; for example, a calendar! This would really help my program's organization. Students could check their Ning before bedtime or in the morning before they left for school to see if they had practice.

What I really like is the communication and how you can get information out quickly. Another wonderful feature is the ease in which I can control this. The down side is the advertisements but they go away if you are willing to pay instead of using the free site

Does anyone have a Ning? Any other ways to use it in the classroom that are not just for correspondence?

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Several students in our class have blogged about the program Skype. Skype is in fact a great classroom tool; however, I am going to blog about a program that I think is even better: Elluminate. Elluminate is a web conferencing tool that incorporates chatting, video, audio, a white board feature, and application sharing.

Teachers in Howard County can use this program and my school, Longfellow, was actually the first school to use it with students! Our 5th graders were learning about the government, and we thought it was important for them to know about our local government too. The technology teacher at my school, Michelle Baker, arranged for another school to participate along with us. We set up a date to talk to County Executive, Ken Ulman and spent several weeks training our students on the program. We developed a script so that it was structured and had our students develop the necessary components. Another feature of Elluminate is that you can record your web conferences. Click on the following link to watch and listen to our Elluminate session!
Longfellow Elementary's Government Elluminate Session

Another way that Elluminate can be used is for Professional Development. We decided that not enough staff members were attending our technology professional development sessions after school, so we decided to do a professional development session from home with Elluminate. We did the session on podcasting and the staff seemed to really enjoy it! We had a pretty good turnout and got great feedback. Click on the following link to watch and listen our Elluminate session!

Longfellow Elementary's Podcasting PD Elluminate Session

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Welcome to my Web 2.0 blog! In this blog you will find information about 3 different Web 2.0 technologies. I hope that you enjoy my blog!