Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Success of Social Networking in Education

Classroom 2.0 just hit 9,000 members today. While I know that as a percentage of the population of educators that's a drop in the bucket, Classroom 2.0 is a social network that just addresses the use of Web 2.0 in education--growing, but still narrow, slice of the pie. And to have 9,000 people signed up there is way more than I ever thought there would be.

Ning in Education, another educational social network I run, just reached 1,800 members. It's a niche network as well that's growing quickly and exceeding my expectations. And the NECC 2008 Ning network has seen a flurry of activity in the last few days, almost 1,300 strong today, and really showing the value of a social network for an educational conference.

I will admit to a small amount of personal gratification in watching this happen and having been a part of it.


  1. Anonymous7:12 PM

    I think these growing social networks for teachers/educators won't fill the lack in missing networks for these professionals but rather shows that there has not been an idea of community among teachers. The potential of linking together all the great experiences and know-how of many single teachers is still unused around the globe. I would like to see these social networks growing to make education more and more participating at the positive effects of globalization.
    Greetings from Germany (

  2. Anonymous8:32 PM

    The number is pretty amazing -- almost too big, I think at times, when I try to follow some of the discussions -- but the fact is that you have created a welcoming portal for teachers who might not otherwise venture into the Web 2.0 World and I am thankful for that.
    I often lead teachers to Classroom 2.0 as a starting point for thinking of this connected world.

  3. Anonymous1:11 PM


    I heard you used Poll Everywhere at the big conference. How did it go? Is it ready for prime time for students? How fast is the response?

  4. Anonymous6:58 PM

    There are now thousands of social networks that cater to a whole variety of subjects. These smaller, focused sites allow users to connect with like-minded people and give advertisers targeted demographics. Niche social networks are also good for marketers who have a product or service they want to promote that relates to a particular interest. A good place to find such sites is this search engine for social networking sites.

  5. Greetings, Steve! I'm back in CA, and have been meaning to drop you a line as a follow-up to our wonderful chat Sunday night. Will do so soon as I get through my list of post-NECC to-dos.

    About social networks and CR2.0, in particular - it's been a great experience being a part of it and watch it grow so rapidly over the last few months. I do feel, though, that I'm beginning to feel lost. One cannot possible keep up with all the blog posts and discussions anymore. I wonder about things like--

    **How would a member continue to feel a sense of belonging, and truly connect with others in the network when numbers become so large and unwieldy?

    **What an ideal group size could/should be?

    **Will controlling numbers serve a purpose?

    **Should we be more actively promoting birds-of-a-feather groups or even local groups of teachers from a region or city or district or school? How do we balance this with the benefits of being part of a diverse community of teachers with varied interests and perspectives from geographically separated regions?

    We're obviously treading unchartered waters as far as all of this is concerned, but it's exciting nonetheless to be a part of this.

    Kudos on the success of CR2.0!

    Be in touch,
    Shuchi Grover

  6. Anonymous6:24 AM

    Congratulations Steve. These figures are amazing and I know that I am one of those 9000 and a member of your ningineducation group who has benefited so much from the wonderful social network that you have provided. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to connect.

  7. Anonymous1:12 AM

    you're being too modest. that's a big accomplishment. i know first hand how much work it takes to run a community. my colleague karon and i built yahoo teacher from zilch to over 20,000 teachers. it was a great experience, but also a lot of hard work.

    congrats on all your success!




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