Last week’s announcement from Ning that they’re discontinuing their free service has some educators looking for alternative ways to host message boards and social networks. Lefora, a free message board service that I first explored in 2007, is one alternative to Ning worth considering.
Lefora allows anyone to create a public or private message board in three easy steps. To create a message board hosted by Lefora, click “create a forum,” create a user name, then select the layout of your forum. Your forum will be hosted as a subdomain of Lefora.com. Users of your forum can create profiles complete with avatars, biographies, and links to their blogs or other social networking profiles.
Applications for Education
Lefora could be used by PTAs to create discussion forums for parents. Lefora could also be used by teachers to create message boards to extend discussions beyond classroom hours.
Here are four other Ning alternatives you may want to explore.