What’s Ning got to do with anything?

I was sad to get this in my email inbox this morning, even though I saw it coming months ago…

Gaston Digital Members,

Gaston Digital, a Ning-based professional learning network, began a little over three years ago as we experimented with a way to network our school district in a grassroots rather than top-down method. However, other larger networks exist outside our district that leverage larger, more active populations of users and specialize in a given topic. With the introduction of the myGCS portal, Google Apps, online Moodle professional development and soon, a SMART lesson repository, Gaston Digital can no longer hope to become a one-stop shop for collaboration and lesson collection. We appreciate the folks willing to try something new and certainly those that contributed what content they did. Please do seek to share materials using Google Apps, the upcoming SMART repository, and on the various professional learning network’s outside our district.

If you have content that you would like to keep, please do download it before June 1st, 2012, when the network will shut down.

Thanks again for experimenting with us.

-Gaston Digital

Visit Gaston Digital  (not sure if you can get into it without a password, but you can catch a glimpse of what its like and may feel inspired to start your own Ning…I did one for a graduate class and even ran one with my students for a year, until Ning started charging).

This unique social network contributed a lot to our district for those who used it over the past few years.  It was a microcosm of the potential that social media has to revolutionize how we do the Ed Biz.  Nevertheless, I am glad that our district has plugged into many other digital tools to keep us moving forward.  :::Wondering if Google+ with its circles may be the next best thing, since our district is “going Google” after all::: In the meantime, I’ll be pulling down what I can from our Ning and sharing what may be of interest to others across the web.  So stay tuned…