The increasingly popular free digital media sharing app offers plenty of possibilities for educators.
Tumblr is a web based social media platform that was designed to make it easier for people to share digital media with each other. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, where conversation is a common mode of communication, Tumblr is more about sharing content. It is a great resource and tool for people and professionals of every stripe. Teachers are finding it useful too. Here's some of the ways they're using it.
As a Course Web Site
Here's an example of a Creative Writing teacher who uses Tumblr as a course web site: writerblockparty.tumblr.com. She set up this Tumblr page for her course and has her students follow it. She made separate sections for the Syllabus, Assignments, and so on. Students can get to the content from any web browser and she can communicate and deliver materials by posting them in one place.
Sharing (and Locating) Resources
Tumblr doesn’t just make it easier for teachers to educate their students, it can be used as a resource sharing tool. There are tumblr accounts dedicated toward the curating of resources for teachers to use in their own classrooms and courses, like classroomcollective.tumblr.com and englishteachingtoolbox.tumblr.com. One can also search Tumblr for tags (here's a search for “teaching resources”: www.tumblr.com/tagged/teaching%20resources). One can just as easily share resources with students.
As a Lesson in Content Credibility
Tumblr can also be used as a lesson on using the Internet for research. Today’s students do not know what it is like to grow up in a world without the Internet and some have the same “if it’s on there it must be true” philosophy that the generations before them had about television and the radio. A teacher can pull up easily proved false reports, faked photos and videos, etc., to teach her students about the value of research and checking sources.
Make a Pitch for Classroom Supplies
Teachers are often responsible for funding some or all of their own classroom materials. Now a teacher can use Tumblr to share and maintain a list of classroom supplies that are in short supply. Students, parents, and others can choose to contribute as they can and help defray some of these costs and tkeep he classroom stocked with needed materials.
There are lots of reasons to use Tumblr as a teacher. These are just a few of them. Do you know of anyone using Tumblr in the classroom? How is it being used?
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