Boom Shuffle allows users to create their own “mix tapes” of music (in English) they like, choose a visual “cover,” describe the whole tape, explain why they chose each song they included, and then share its url to be posted on an online journal or blog.
The site explains this can all be done free because of regulations around Internet radio.
There are actually more and more of these sites that allow users to create their own mixes and share them. However, all the others I’ve seen are questionable for use in schools because of inappropriate content — either because of some of the available “visual covers” that users can choose or because of the available songs.
I am definitely in the camp of having fewer restrictions on Internet content and more of an emphasis on helping students develop their own capacity for good judgment. I’m still, though, trying to figure out how to balance that with the language comprehension challenges facing my students, along with wanting to maintain the confidence school district staff have in my judgment.
I’ve been hopeful of finding a music mix site that would work since I know my English Language Learner students would find it a helpful language-development activity and enjoy it a lot.
I haven’t had a chance to look carefully over Boom Shuffle, but at least the “visual covers” look okay. I quickly browsed through some of the mixes that had already been made by users. By clicking an icon next to each song you can be taken to where the music is being sold on Amazon, and I didn’t find any that were labeled “explicit” there.
However, I’m going to hold off putting a link to Boom Shuffle on my website until I, or one of this blog’s readers, have a chance to look it over a little more.