Of all the online teaching tools (edublogs, pbwiki, wetpaint, voicethread, twitter…facebook!) I have used in the past couple of years, I would have to say that the most successful (and my favourite) was the general purpose, customisable networking site, Ning.
I have used Ning now to coach debating teams, and to provide online homework/study support for my classes.
Here is a tip:
(it is one of my FAVOURITE things to do, because I would have loved this as a student!)
Turn on the photos section of your Ning. At the end of important lessons, take a digital photo on your camera or phone of your whiteboard notes. Post them up as photos on the Ning…really helps those who remember notes visually 🙂
P.S. An excellent example of how Ning has been used by educators for profressional learning and networking is The English Companion Ning, created for English teachers by Jim Burke. Another I have come across more recently is The Educator’s PLN, a Ning created by Thomas Whitby to support the Personal Learning Networks of educators generally.