Hello Connected Learning Friends!
This week I was looking into new teaching networks to profile on my blog, when I stumbled across the English Companion Ning. Let me first explain what a Ning is, because it was new to me, and it’s pretty awesome from a connected learning standpoint. Ning is a social media site in which YOU can design and create your own social network. That alone is such a cool idea. There are Ning blogs for just about anything you can imagine.
So as I mentioned, I stumbled upon Ning’s English Companion community, which has all types of resources and forums for teachers to connect, share, and seek advice. The English Companion describes itself in part like a “cafe without walls or coffee: just friends.”
The site hosts a number of different groups to join for any type of English courses and subjects you may teach: American Literature, Shakespeare, AP Language, Creative Writing, teaching with wikis, etc. There are a ton of forums to ask advice from other teachers, or give advice of your own. Today I read a teacher asking advice about her large class sizes, while another was looking for useful tips on organizing her classroom library. There are also numerous links to personal blogs of English Companion members, which have resources, tips, and thoughtful reflections about teaching. The site has news, job postings, event calendars, everything in pertinent to the teaching field. It also has its own YouTube and slideshare channel.
The best part is that it’s free to join, you just need to make a log in and profile, then wait for approval from the site manager. After you’re approved, it looks as if the groups, forums, resources and materials are all fair game.
This site is definitely an easy and useful tool for connecting with other English teachers, and I hope to start contributing to it. I’m lucky enough this year to have a wonderful group of colleagues to seek advice or help from, but in previous years that has not been the case. I wish I found this sooner!