Nings are online platforms that allow people to create social networks. Members of groups with common interests or objectives are formed, whose members are then able chat, share resources, collaborate on forums and reflect through blog posts. Students are drawn to Nings due to the wealth of options offered by them. In many ways the features of this social networking tool closely resemble Facebook, an application that students use regularly out of school to stay in contact with friends. As in Facebook students who join a Ning are able to customise their own pages, add applications and form groups of friends to collaborate and share with.
The potential for Nings in education is enormous as teachers and students are able to bring files, multimedia, groups and discussions together in one place. At present our students are learning how to use them in ICT lessons as part of a unit on Social Networks. Both the reflective and collaborative aspects of the Ning have been a focus in ICT as well as other subjects.