Showing posts with label Tumblr. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tumblr. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Mammoth - Evernote Meets Tumblr

Update, February 2022: this tool is no longer available.

Mammoth is a bookmarking tool that seems to offer the key aspects of Evernote mixed with Tumblr. At its core Mammoth allows you to bookmark websites and save files onto boards in your account. You can add notes to each of the links and files that you add to your boards. Mammoth boards can be private or public. Public boards are organized in a linear fashion similar to that found in default Tumblr themes.

Mammoth could be used as a project management tool. To use it to manage projects create a board and share it privately with your collaborators. Then use the board to share notes and assign tasks to each other.

Applications for Education
Mammoth could be a good tool for creating digital portfolios. Students could use Mammoth to showcase examples of their best work in a nice linear layout. Students can use Mammoth to share their portfolios publicly or share them only with you where you can give them feedback.

There is certainly not a lack of bookmarking and blogging tools on the Internet. The nice think about that is that we can try all of the options until we find one that suits our needs. If you haven't found the perfect tool for you, give Mammoth a try.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Intro to HTML with Tumblr

A couple of nights ago I was looking Tumblr again as a platform for introducing some teachers and their students to blogging. I'm also thinking about starting a Tumblr blog to share some of the things I've learned about blogging in the last two years, more on that in the future.

As I have written in the past, Tumblr provides one of the fastest and easiest ways to get started blogging. I've always liked Tumblr because of its easy-to-use user interface as well as its clean and simple design themes. While I was browsing the standard Tumblr themes I noticed, for the first time, that they offer directions for creating a custom theme in html. So now if the selection of pre-made Tumblr themes doesn't provide what you want, you can create your own custom theme. If you've never done any work in html, Tumblr provides clear descriptions of what different tags will do to your theme. It's not a complete tutorial in html, but it is clear and in-depth enough for it's intended purpose of helping you create a custom theme for your blog.

Applications for Education
If you have students interested in learning how to develop custom blog themes, Tumblr might be a good place for them to start. Not only do they get to learn some basic html skills, they can see and share with the world the results of what they've learned.

If you're looking for more formal html tutorials you may want to try w3schools or html Cod Tutorial.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Increasing Teacher-Parent Communication. Part I: Blogging

Before too long teachers across the country will be holding parent/teacher conferences. But before that first meeting there are some great ways to have positive communication with parents via the Internet. There are three categories of free web tools that teachers can use to increase communication with parents. Those three categories are blogs, free website builders, and file sharing/ hosting services. Before jumping into a discussion blogging platforms it should be noted that setting up an email list and sending out a weekly update to your students' parents is still a great way to keep parents informed about your classroom. Email lists are great, but blogs, websites, and file hosts can help you offer more information and resources to your students' parents.

Maintaining a blog for your class is great way to share information with parents and students. The four blogging platforms that are reviewed below are easy to establish and maintain. Blogs automatically list your updates in chronological order with the most recent update appearing first. This makes it easy for parents to quickly find the latest information about your class. As a teacher having a chronological list is useful for looking back over the course of the year/ semester to remember what you've covered and dedicated time to.

A blog can be as simple as just posting quick notes or updates about what is happening in your classroom. A blog can also offer a lot more than text to your parents and students. You can add links to helpful web resources, link to files containing homework assignments (for those students who "forgot" to bring "that paper" home), or add widgets to make your blog more engaging and keep parents and students coming back regularly.

Blogging Platforms for Increasing Teacher-Parent Communication
Tumblr is probably the simplest and easiest blog platform for teachers new to blogging to use. Tumblr blogs can be created in minutes and Tumblr walks new users through the process step-by-step. Tumblr's user interface makes adding new entries and different types of media an obvious process to new users. To see just how quick and easy it is to set up a Tumblr blog, click here to watch a short how-to video that I made.

Blogger is the platform that this blog is created and hosted on. Blogger is a Google product which anyone with a Google account can use. Blogger allows users a lot of flexibility in terms of layout and design as well as content creation. Blogger offers more options than Tumblr which is why it may take new users a little longer to get started compared to Tumblr. The one downside to using the Blogger platform is that some school and workplace filters block access to blogs written on Blogger.

Wordpress is an extremely popular free blogging platform because of the amazing flexibility it offers to users. A Wordpress blog can be set up in minutes and tinkered with for hours. There are more stock design templates and layouts available from Wordpress than are available from Blogger or Tumblr.

Finally, Edublogs is a popular blogging platform among educators. Edublogs offers a number of free design templates and multimedia options. Edublogs is popular in part because of the options available for monitoring and moderating access to blogs created with their service. Edublogs offers a number of great video tutorials and suggestions for using blogs in education that are well worth watching. Click here to watch a video introduction to Edublogs.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tumblr - The Simplest Blogging System

Tumblr is probably the simplest and easiest to use, free, blogging system available. The process of registering an account and starting a blog takes less than a minute on Tumblr. Tumblr offers a number of simple, clean templates and layouts while not offering so many that students will be tempted to spend a lot of time tweaking their layout. (Students won't be bombarded with "pimp your page" advertisements). Adding blog entries is simple and intuitive. All blog entries appear chronologically and with a date stamp. Comments are disabled by default on Tumblr so teachers having students use Tumblr need not worry about strangers posting comments on a student's blog.

Applications for Education
Getting students to write consistently and keep a journal can be a challenge for many writing teachers. Having students write blogs is one technique for encouraging them to write consistently, pay attention to detail, and take pride in their work. Blogging provides students with a wider audience than they can have with with a paper and pencil journal. Tumblr is a very simple blog program that students can use to practice and improve their writing.