I’ve posted several times in the past few weeks about my search to find the best tool to use to create a private student “social network” that would allow my classes to work with Intermediate English classes in other parts of the world.

I’ve been calling it a “social network,” but Sue Waters reminded me about a post by Vicki Davis , who more accurately calls it “educational networking.”

I had thought I had found a solution by being able to get Ning unblocked by our School District.  However, yesterday I discovered the CAPTCHA image, which are the letters/numbers that many online services (like this blog) have that you have to type in when you register (as a safeguard against spammers) is blocked.  In other words,  I can see the site, but no one can participate in it.  Sigh….. 

To be fair, I have to say the District Technology staff have been very supportive of a lot of the technology experiments we’ve been doing, though, particularly our home computer project.  I realize there are competing pressures on them.

There are, however, a number of other sites that are listed in my past posts that provide this kind of privated closed network (though none seem as good as Ning) and are not blocked.  I even learned of two additional similar applications today. One is called Snappville and the other Six Groups (thought don’t know if either is available at school yet and am not sure of their privacy settings), so there are clearly many other options.

I’ll let readers know which one I decide to use and why.