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Setting up an On-Line Community

Have a group and want a way to post messages or have discussions? Here are some options.

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Differences between Discussion Boards, Blogs and Wikis

This tutorial outlines the similarities and differences between discussion boards & mailing lists, blogs and wikis.

Each is best depending on the need: discussion, reflection, or collaboration. And sometimes a combination approach is best.

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About Mailing Lists and listserv

This post explains how mailing lists work, why you would want one and how they are organized. Even if you are using a different mailing list solution (like Google Groups), most of the concepts are the same.

Has a good explanation of the different roles – and options – for list owners, list moderators, subscribers and non-subscribers.

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Google Groups

Want to quickly start a new ad hoc community or find an existing group with your interests?

Check out Google Groups.

A Google Group can be configured like a mailing list, a discussion board, a wiki or an online FAQ (frequently asked questions) page.

E-mail list support at your school.

Odds are the computer that handles e-mail processing for your school has the capability of hosting e-mail mailing lists.

Listserv is mailing list software that comes on most Linux machines. Check with your webmaster or IT person to see what sort of capabilities are available for your school district.

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The NTIA office sponsored more than 100 projects throughout the US for community networks between schools and a wide spectrum of community agencies and private organizations--from libraries to national parks and cable operators.

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Yahoo Groups

Yahoo Groups has been the go-to place for discussion groups for years. But with the sale of Yahoo, it appears Yahoo Groups has been "deprioritized" (their term, not ours).

While we expect Yahoo Groups to be around for a while, it should no longer be used to start new interest groups.

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Pew Internet

The Pew Charitable Trusts has created a site for exploring the impact of the Internet on children and families and work and school. The research and reports reflect the high quality for which Pew is renowned. Take a look and show your colleagues and neighbors.

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National Youth Leadership Council

As learning online has evolved, a new community, devoted to volunteer service has emerged and integrated with established curriculum.

An exemplar is the National Youth Leadership Council.

The amazing diversity among community networks is bound to give you ideas for your own community. Some have a narrow focus yet a large number of participants, while others tackle several objectives and have fewer constituents.

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Ideas and inspiration for the K-12 community.

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