April 13-17, 2010
Denver, Colorado, USA

Demonstrations: Description

Using Ning to create a teacher community of inquiry at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

Angie McNew, Children's Museum of Indianapolis, USA

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis created a community for its existing teacher network as a way to engage educators and provide a forum for teachers to share how they use the museum’s materials in the classroom. The museum was already sharing units of study and activities for schools on the web, but wanted to take the effort to the next level by sharing resources in a forum that also fosters discussion and community. The museum also wanted to give teachers an easy mechanism to share their students’ work resulting from the units of study with the museum and other educators. Teachers who participated in the museum's professional development program had also expressed a desire to stay in touch with the colleagues they meet during the summer institutes hosted at the museum. The Children's Museum created a Ning site called Teacher Community of Inquiry (TCI) in 2009. The site features discussions on topics ranging from new exhibits to field trips to online learning. The TCI also features instructional videos that can be used in the classroom and photos from teacher programs, like the museum’s dinosaur dig in South Dakota. The beta site currently has over 50 members comprised of select teachers who have gone through the museum’s professional development program in the past. The museum will open the forum to its entire network of over 6,000 teachers and the public by the end of 2009.

Demonstration: Demonstrations - III [Close Up]

Keywords: teacher, student, social, Ning, educator, children