Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Building Student Communities

Most tertiary sector institutions use a Learning Management System (LMS) these days. It might have a local name, but sitting behind that cutely named online learning environment is usually one of the vendor-supported applications (e.g. Desire2Learn) or one of the two main English language open-source LMS applications (Moodle or Sakai). This isn’t about LMS applications, though, it’s about a couple of lovely little (externally-hosted) tools called ELGG and Ning.

ELGG: According to the company website, ELGG “is an award-winning open source social networking engine that provides a robust framework on which to build all kinds of social environments”. It’s a bit like an LMS, but not really. It’s reason for being is to facilitate social learning and sharing of resources and ideas.

Ning: The Ning website says: “Hit the ground running to engage and grow your community (big or small). Organize events. Use member profiles to bring faces to names. Get everyone talking through groups, forums, chats and activity stream. Plus more (lots more).

Have a look … I am sure you will find uses for them. Free versions are available.


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