photo © 2007 Chad Swaney | more info (via: Wylio)
If you are looking for a way to introduce teen students to blogging, consider Tumblr. As a free mini-blog platform, Tumblr has a small learning curve but introduces its users to basic blog concepts they will encounter in more complex platforms like WordPress. Tumblr doesn’t have the bells and whistles of WordPress but works. It helps a new student blogger master the concept of blogging on the go via mobile.
How Tumblr introduces blogging to students:
- Themes. Users have some selections for themes – some paid and others that are free. Though it lacks the flexibility of WordPress, it helps a student instantly see how a new theme changes the whole feel of a blog. They will learn technical skills that will give them an advantage if/when they move to more complex blogging platforms.
- Public/Private Posts. Students who create public accounts will need to be taught common sense public posting – how to share information without being stupid – to reveal themselves without revealing everything.
- Mobile Post as You Go. Tumblr lets students begin to experience posts on the go. This is especially helpful with photos and video. Students who develop this mindset will be well-prepared for the next generation of blogging.
- Short is Sweet Writing. This platform helps students develop their writing skills for the new generation of web readers. Studies show those who read on the web scan when they read. Students who learn to write things in short snippets will be better prepared to write for this audience.
- Video. Students can learn to embed video on their Tumblr, following the same steps they would with WordPress. This gives them a first taste of embedding code into a post.
- Tags. Students learn to tag their posts via category.
Every student heading to college needs to already know how to begin a blog and post on it. They will most likely need to do so for at least one college class. If they learn those skills before college, they can focus more on the quality of their blog content than the technical stresses of beginning a blog. A student can have multiple Tumblr blogs.
Both WordPress and Tumblr have frustrating learning curves when you first begin to use them. Keep plugging through that frustration, and it will get easier.
Recommended steps to start and master Tumblr:
- Customize your name, graphics, and photo.
- Post a photo.
- Post a blog.
- Post a quote.
- Post a link to other information.
- Embed a video.
- Follow other tumblrs.
- Reblog what someone else blogs.
- Update your tumblr via a smartphone.
After you master these 9 tasks, you’ll be able to maintain your own Tumblr.