What is a Ning?

Ning is a Web 2.0 tool that can be used to form learning communities, where ideas and content can be exchanged. Some would also call this a social network. With Ning has the potential to be more than social it can also serve as a personal learning network (PLN).


  • Ning is an online service that allows users to create their own so­cial networks and join and participate in other networks.
  • There is a wide variety of Ning networks, ranging from news, current events and professional development to entertainment, dating, commercial product networks, alumni, and support groups.
  • Ning lets creators of networks determine the site’s appearance and func­tionality, as well as whether the site is public or private. Most net­works include features such as photos or videos, lists of network members and events, groups within the network, and communi­cation tools such as forums or blogs.
  • 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. Ning offers no-cost networks, which are supported by advertisements, or users can pay for premium services that eliminate ads and let users choose network URLs that are separate from the Ning domain.


Getting Started with Ning:

Some ideas taken from Jenny Luca’s wiki but the colors were so ugly, I decided to add this to our detools wiki.

  • The developer selects whether the network is private or public, selects a tagline and desctiption of the network; assigns keywords; chooses from a selection of features (photos, videos, blog, events, groups, gadgets) and uses drag-and-drop tools to place those features on the page; chooses visual theme (colors, fonts, sizes) and can customize these choices; and decides what information uses will be asked to provide to join the network.
  • If the membership is restricted, the creator can invite individual to join.
  • Implications to teaching and learning: Privacy, familiarity with media, your own social media
  • (Many taken from
  • 7 things you should know about Ning .
  • Top Ten Reasons - Why Ning

Ning's you Can Join

Ning in Education
Classroom 2.0

Setting up a Ning

More PLN Social Network sites


If you build it will they come?

The Impact of Online Graduate Students’ Motivation and Self-Regulation on Academic Procrastination

Research articles on motivation and online learning