Today on the Ning Blog we announced an exciting new sponsorship from Pearson to make Ning Mini free for North America K-12 and Higher-Ed Ning Networks!

When we originally announced we were working with a partner to sponsor Ning Mini for education networks, this did not include Higher-Ed. This is a great new development and we thank Pearson for partnering with us on this program. For more information, check out the blog post and if you are a Network Creator with a North America K-12 or Higher-Ed Ning Network, you can find more information and submit your network today on the Pearson registration page.

Here is a copy of our Ning Blog post:

When we recently announced our new pricing plans (which launch July 20th, 2010), we heard from many of you who were concerned about the future of education-focused Ning Networks. Ning Networks have become a valuable compliment to many schools and other educational institutions by helping teachers, parents and students supplement class curriculums; allowing educators and administrators to share best practices; and by helping all these groups bring the vitality and vibrancy of their institutions online.

Today, we’re excited to let you know about the work we’ve been doing with Pearson, a global leader in online and offline education for pre-K through college, to develop a program that will help educators keep their Ning Networks running for free. We’re proud to announce that Pearson will sponsor Ning Mini plans for free for all K-12 and Higher Education networks in North America. We think Ning Mini is a great solution for education-based networks, with an ability to include up to 150 members and a whole set of online collaboration tools such as blogs, photos and forums.

The Pearson sponsorship is an “opt-in” program. Here’s how to join:
1. Visit the Pearson sign-up page and complete the registration form.
2. Ning and Pearson will review your Ning Network and confirm your participation in the program.
3. After Ning Mini launches on July 20, 2010, your network will automatically transition to a Pearson-sponsored Ning Mini plan.*

Educators can apply at their leisure, but there’s no reason to wait until Ning Mini launches on July 20th. If you’re already running a North American Ning Network for education purposes, or are in the process of creating a new Ning Network, submit your application now!

Pearson-sponsored Ning Mini plans will include subtle Pearson branding on the network as part of participation. For more information visit the Pearson sign-up page.

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not for me, but i am pleased educators have options that can save their networks and continue to to utilize the ning social networking platform to engage young people.

ning gets a big ol' hug from me for this. ;)
and pearson too.
Does this include UK HE?
Hi, Janice. This offer is available for Ning Networks in North America.
Any plans for Pearson in the UK, or some similar outfit, to pick up the UK sites?
Not that I am aware of.
Does the K-12 designation mean that Ning will change its terms and conditions to allow children under 13 to become members? Up to now, this restriction has been a major problem for middle schools
I don't think so. The stipulation in Ning's Terms of Service is quite standard for online services and is based on COPPA, which you can read about here. In particular, I would pay attention to the Violations section of that document, which perhaps explains why this is onerous for nearly all Web services.
Thanks Eric, I see what you mean!

Given this situation, I have a couple of thoughts:
  1. It would probably be a good idea for Pearsons/Ning to clarify the offer, i.e. don't talk about k-12
  2. It would be great if it were possible for schools to take care of signing up the students, and might therefore be able to absolve the company from the liability. No idea if this is legally possible, but I do know a number of schools who would really like to use Ning
I tried to extent Pearson sponsorship to not-North American education-focused Ning Networks, asking to sponsor my Ning network, without success. So the only solution left to me is to migrate. That is so as our school has no budget for social networking. (it seems that first of all it is necessary to convince the authorities for the added educational value of social networking for schools). My Ning Network will be blocked after midnight tonight. Thanks all members of Network Creators for their help to solve technical problems, to discover new options and use my network to the limits for my students benefit. My grateful thanks to the Ning Team for hosting all my hopes and expectations as a teacher these years. I 'll never forget them. Farewell, my friends. :-( God bless you all!:-)

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Projects that the Ning 3.0 Team is currently working on: 

Articles - a new way of organizing longer content pieces. Released 4/16.

Activity Feed Updates - options for more content in the activity feed.

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APIs - The ability to create new members and content programatically.

For more information on what's next, visit the Product Roadmap

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