Ning caused quite a commotion last month when they announced that they were planning to discontinue their free services this summer. Today, Ning announced what the new fee-based plans will offer. None of the options appear to be all that reasonable for a classroom setting. The good news though is that an unnamed company in the education market has stepped forward to sponsor free accounts for K-12 educators. The free accounts will be the equivalent of Ning’s fee-based Ning Mini service. Read more about the Ning Mini and free education accounts on the Ning blog.
Ning Mini won’t replace the old free Ning accounts, but they should still be useable for classroom settings. Though with a cap of 150 members it probably won’t be useable for building a community Ning around a whole school or PTA.
If you’d like to explore some free alternatives to Ning, please read this.