I had been aware of Tumblr and microblogging for awhile, but hadn’t paid much attention to it, even when I recently heard about Tumblr’s upgrade.
Then I read Doug Noon’s post in Borderland sharing a little more about it, and was intrigued.
After checking it out further, it’s clear it has a lot of potential for the classroom. I’m going to start by having my “mainstream” students in Ninth Grade English start using it for their online journals (you can read more about that in a post I wrote for In Practice). It will replace their using YourDraft.
The problem with using Your Draft is that control over comments and images left by others is limited, and that can be exploited by mischievous students. With Tumbr I’m just going to have students choose a few “buddies” at a time and with whom they can share their passwords and leave comments. I can then monitor them.
I want students to be able to very easily use images and other media, along with writing, and I don’t necessarily want to have to check everything they write before its posted. Tumblr might do the trick.
If it works well in my ninth grade class, I’ll then try it out with my other ESL (we actually call it ELD for English Language Development) classes.
Glad to hear that someone’s going to field test tumblr for classroom use. I’ll be paying close attention. One way I was thinking that comments could work would be for the students to form a “channel” (tumblr jargon) and comment back and forth by linking to each other’s posts.
Let us know how it goes. I’m already spread too thin with my own students to introduce another blogging technology to them now. But I’m thinking about it for next year.