National Council for Social Studies: Building Community with Ning

screenshot, ncss ning
Thu 9 2009

Want to learn more about how other teachers are meeting the challenges of teaching history? This spring, the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) began a community network for conversations about teaching using the open-source Ning platform.

Currently, almost 500 people have joined the network and participate in 16 focused group discussions. Of particular interest to American history teachers? Teaching U.S. History K-12, Florida Historians, Teaching Economics, and Teaching with Technology.

Discussions cover cutting-edge instructional methodology.

In discussion groups, educators are talking about Teaching with Textbooks vs Primary Sources, Online History Games, and using wikis in the classroom. Members are encouraged to begin social bookmarking with Diigo and Delicious, tagging their choices with ncsshistory. Teacher Tube videos explain Diigo and Delicious.

NCSS utilizes TeacherTube for informational and instructional videos.

NCSS posts videos on their Ning site. Conversations with History feature interviews with historians such as Studs Terkel, John Kenneth Galbraith, and Noam Chomsky. James McPherson and Eric Foner talk about why they became historians and instructional videos present "how to" looks at various digital tools for the classroom.

The 89th Annual NCSS Conference takes place in Atlanta, November 13-15. On the Ning site, teachers are already talking about technology standards for the conference.

About the Author

Lee Ann Ghajar is a digital history associate in Public Projects at CHNM and a PhD candidate in American history at George Mason University.