Of all the online teaching tools (edublogs, pbwiki, wetpaint, voicethread, twitter…facebook!) I have used in the past couple of years, I would have to say that the most successful (and my favourite) was the general purpose, customisable networking site, Ning.
I have used Ning now to coach debating teams, and to provide online homework/study support for my classes.
Here is a tip:
(it is one of my FAVOURITE things to do, because I would have loved this as a student!)
Turn on the photos section of your Ning. At the end of important lessons, take a digital photo on your camera or phone of your whiteboard notes. Post them up as photos on the Ning…really helps those who remember notes visually
P.S. An excellent example of how Ning has been used by educators for profressional learning and networking is The English Companion Ning, created for English teachers by Jim Burke. Another I have come across more recently is The Educator’s PLN, a Ning created by Thomas Whitby to support the Personal Learning Networks of educators generally.