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Mightybell: a platform for curation, conversation & group learning

Mightybell on Vimeo.

My network has been buzzing recently about the new social learning space, Mightybella place to create groups with friends around what interests you.

Launched by Ning co-founder and former CEO Gina Bianchini, Mightybell allows users to get a network up and running and customized (for free) in just a few minutes. 

Gina says,

When I left Ning in March 2010, the question I asked myself was: “How do we bring people together around goals and interests and drive and motivate action?

In a recent Webinar with educators, she described her vision for the Mightybell platform.  (This is my paraphrase of Gina’s comments about her goals for the 2.0 release):

It is not a replacement for Ning.  It’s not as high powered, but like what Tumblr did for blogging–namely making it central, specific and simplified relative to the earlier blog software–I wanted to do the same thing for how people create social networks and groups.  To pull it together with simple core functions. To make it visually beautiful. To make sharing easy, while respecting privacy. It’s not going to be as high powered.

The four elements of a Mightybell space are:

  • People
  • Content
  • Conversations
  • Events

Networks are built on threaded discussions, comments, photos, questions, videos, links, files, events, and more.

The platform allows for the creation of both invitation-only private spaces and public spaces.  Live chat scrolls down the left frame of a space.  Boxes in the center area of the screen display the contributed space elements–links, files, videos, photos, questions, etc.–and invite conversation.

Users may explore Mightybell as hosts, contributors, or participants. Hosts can change themes and appearance of the space. Contributors can add content  Participants can comment and chat in sessions in public spaces. Space creators may promote other members to be co-hosts, who will in turn have the power change the space color palettes, settings, and edit and delete posts, and members. Users may determine the frequency of email updates.  A Bookmarklet allows for on-the-fly additions to your spaces.

Mightybell was not designed for education, in her webinar, Gina expressed a commitment to listening to the suggestions of the educators.

It doesn’t take long to see the possibilities.  This easy and flexible tool does both curation and conversation and could easily and elegantly host:

  • dynamic collaborative textbooks to support a course
  • book club headquarters
  • lit circle discussions
  • teams, clubs and extracurricular activities
  • reflective interactive portfolios for student work
  • space for discussion of works of art or music or film
  • collaborative (or individual) space for student research projects
  • professional development resources and discussions
  • presenter’s resources with conversations lasting beyond the conference
  • backchannel discussions with annotated resources
  • state and local organization planning materials and aggregated resources
  • archived tutorials, questions, and other flipped classroom resources
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setting up your space

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Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is the teacher-librarian at Springfield Township High School, a technology writer, and a blogger. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

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