Write your thoughts….or stream that news!!!

I’ve been playing around with the possibilities offered by tools such as Tumblr. I have to say, I think this little application rocks!

Yes, I know that some people are using it very effectively as their ‘cut down’ blog, others are using it for creating a compilation of information sources through the power of RSS. Both good and very handy.

But what about the option of using this as a blogging tools for kids?

It’s quick, easy to use, and possibly a better starting point for teachers new to the blogging game and great to use for individual projects or themes.

Obviously this is not as expansive a tool as regular blog platforms – but a cool tool nonetheless. I set up my test at Yellow Submarine. First of all I tested posts, links, images and videos, then set up an RSS feed of my delicious links which stream very nicely into Tumblr.

Kids can blog really easily with Tumblr, making it ideal for primary age students. And imagine the value of packaging information for students or staff this way for the library, or for anything really. And what a neat way to share information being complied in your delicious links. We should be talking more about the possibilities of this clever little blog tool.

Tumblr has text, photo, quote, link, chat and video tools. I really like the flexibility of being able to change the name AND url of your Tumblr blog too! Just a few templates to choose from – but for the more experienced, you can custom design your own if you are used to fiddling with the template as we had to do in the original blogger version.

For anyone thinking of using Tumblr as a way of providing a news feed or updates from the web, you’ll love the “share with Tumblr” widget that you can install on you browser nav bar, or equivalent dashboard widget for your mac. Find something interesting or fun – just hit the button, and quickly send the post to your Tumblr blog. That’s just what I did a couple of seconds ago on my test Tumblr blog Yellow Submarine – and it took less than 30 seconds!

Now here’s a cool solution for ‘time-poor’ teachers. Well worth experimenting with. Don’t ever say you haven’t got time to run a blog now :-)

Photo: Wee Waterfuls

4 thoughts on “Write your thoughts….or stream that news!!!

  1. Hello … I was also thinking of having mys students use tumblr. We have been using Edublogs — but the service is a bit slow and sometimes is not available. It uses WordPress — which is really great and easy to use. tumblr is easier and neater. We have also been using Multiply — but it could be a bit confusing.

    In having students/children use tumblr — how do you go about the clause in the tumblr Terms of Use that states: “Subscriber certifies to Tumblr that if Subscriber is an individual (i.e., not a corporate entity) Subscriber is at least 18 years of age. Subscriber also certifies that it is legally permitted to use the Services and access the Site, and takes full responsibility for the selection and use of the Services and access of the Site.”

    With Multiply, the minimum age is 13 — so my Middle School students are able to use it. But with the minimum age being 18 to use tumblr – how would you go about this “requirement” from the company? Would it be all right just to write a letter to parents and have them sign off – allowing their children to sign up to tumblr even if they are under 18 years of age?

    Ok … thanks for your input.

  2. I am new to the blog world and am only blogging for my C&I class at Illinois State, but I am very interested in learning about how the blog world works and all the new ideas within it. I have found that the Blog World is very confusing and seems to be unorganized. However, Bloggers seem to be very dedicated to their blogs, and they must be in order to find blogs they want to subscribe to and keep updated upon.

    What scares me about how vast the blogging world is becoming is the involvement of children. do kids really need to blog? I think not. How dependent do we want our children to become on Blogging? Also how will parents who have had no experience with blogging teach their children. Is this yet another subject area that children will learn from someone other than their parents? The World is getting to complicated people. We don’t need blogs, kids don’t need them, and they only keep us infront of our computers more. We do too much, to the extent that normal functions of people within society, that have been occuring for hundreds of years, are being put on the back burner. I would rather be a father who teaches his children to play baseball than to be the father who spends all his time on a computer while teachers get paid less to teach my children more pointless stuff in school, were they are already over burdened and stressed.

  3. Hi John, thanks for the samples and ideas on this all. I’ll be interested to see if this tool suits primary for those quick, doing it online kind of activities. The lack of comment being something to be aware of is a good point. That’s why I see Tumblr for kids as quick project publishing, where comments are happening in the classroom. The whole ‘blog as conversation’ is a different focus isn’t it. The You have already exploited the other features of Tumblr very nicely – which is great, and super beneficial for us to have your examples to look at.

    Many thanks, Judy

  4. hi,
    tumblr is pretty sweet especially for posting those ‘hey look at this links’, the interface in minimal and very easy to use.
    FWIW mine is http://tmblr.johnjohnston.name

    I am not sure about primary children using it, it might be too thoughtless and easy? (I appreciate the irony of that one)

    Do you think the lack of a comment facility is a plus or minus?

    The pulling in of rss feeds to auto blog is a really nice feature, though I go the other way pushing my tumble to twitter.

    The casualness of tumblr reminds me of twitter too, they both have an ephemeral feeling which stops you worrying too much about what you write.

    I’ve also turned my del.icio.us links into a kind of tumblelog:

    http://www.johnjohnston.name/tasty.php

    I am not sure of the value of that one, but it was fun.

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