In March, 2009, I decided to create a NING network for Spanish teachers in the US, primarily the teachers in my area of New England, and even more specifically the ones in my town and my old students who had decided to go into teaching. I felt there was a need to establish connections among us, but also provide Spanish input for those teachers who were not native speakers and had been out of the classroom for a while. I had just discovered NING and could not believe how easy it was to use. I could create my own social network in just minutes, and with no prior knowledge of anything technical. Well, it became much more successful than I could have imagined, reaching in the end more than 400 members from all over the world. I created many friendships there that I still continue through twitter and other means and I learned immensely, particularly about the power of collaboration. But then two things happened. NING decided to change its pay structure going from free to quite expensive for a site like mine with so many members. And I also discovered another wonderful NING for Spanish teachers, COMUNIDAD TODO ELE, so I have decided it is time to say goodbye.
Last year, in preparation for the closing, I moved all my blog posts included in my NING into a Google Site (http://bit.ly/profemunday), which serves as a portfolio for my work as an educator, and I also tried to keep the collaboration alive through that site. It has not really worked that well in that sense (another reason for the creation of this blog), but I do feel that at least most of what I did in the “Profesores” NING will not be lost. It is hard to click that button that says DELETE. It is my life in those pages. But it is time.
I still believe in NING as a viable option to create communities within classrooms. I still use a couple that are free thanks to Pearson Learning (only available in the US), and I’ll talk about them in other posts.
But now it is finally time to say goodbye to my “Profesores de español” NING. Adiós, amigos.