OMG! I can’t seem to get caught up this week and the work keeps growing. However, I did manage to join a social networking site for teachers called Classroom 2.0 and is located at http://classroom20.ning.com/. This site looks very promising. I have, in fact, passed the link along to the principal at my school. She is a forward-thinking lady who will very likely pass it along to her colleagues, which may just help us all.
Due to the fact that I am the only foreign language teacher in our school and for that matter, the entire county, I think this site will be valuable to me in that I can collaborate with others. I do get a special pleasure in telling people that I am the chair of the foreign language department at my school, but sometimes I would like to have someone onsite with whom to team up and pool resources. Of course I do have friends like Gloria, and colleagues in other schools with whom to share ideas. With Classroom 2.0 the possibilities for sharing and learning seem infinite for all of us and all disciplines.
I have not had a chance to fully explore this website, which is more properly called a ning. A quick check at wikipedia explains the term ning in the following words: “Ning is an online platform for users to create their own social websites and social networks ...” As I understand nings, they are websites that have templates which make it easy for people who don’t have a great deal of technical skill to build social networking sites for any purpose that comes to mind.
Classroom 2.0 has something for everyone. There is even a “how-to” of a sort for those who have never posted online and a link to ask a “host” any questions that might arise. Members have individual web pages to which they may add pictures, music, RSS feeds, and a comment wall in addition to other fun stuff that one finds on sites like MySpace and Facebook. The difference is that this is for teachers.
Some features include a Members page where one can check out photos of the others and see who is online as well as a News page where we can click on the site’s blog to check out the daily news and / or add a personal blog. Still more topics for discussion can be found on the Forum. If all of that isn’t enough, there is are other pages with titles such as Resources Wiki, Groups, Photos, FAQ, and Invite.
I can’t wait until I can spend some quality time with Classroom 2.0. The good thing is that I will be preparing the ethnography for EDUC 628 about this site so I will have some time to explore. The rest of you should check it out, too.