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What is a microblog?

A microblog differs from a traditional blog in that its content is typically much smaller, in both actual size and aggregate file size. A microblog entry could consist of nothing but a short sentence fragment, or an image or embedded video.

The term "microblogging" refers to the practice of posting small pieces of digital content—which could be text, pictures, links, short videos, or other media—on the Internet. Microblogging offers a portable communication mode that feels organic and spontaneous to many and has captured the public imagination. Friends use it to keep in touch, business associates use it to coordinate meetings or share useful resources, and celebrities and politicians (or their publicists) microblog about concert dates, lectures, book releases, or tour schedules. A wide and growing range of add-on tools enables sophisticated updates and interaction with other applications, and the resulting profusion of functionality is helping to define new possibilities for this type of communication.

Why use a microblog?

  1. Find out what is happening right now
  2. Syndicate news, announcements, or other media
  3. Post easily from a mobile device or via text message
  4. Build your own personal learning network
  5. Collaborate asynchronously with colleagues
  6. Interact with students outside the "walls" of Blackboard

Possible Educational Applications of Microblogs

  1. Class or topic news
  2. Reminders for students
  3. Resource sharing
  4. Group project or organization status
  5. Sharing updates (text, photos, video) from field research, trips, internships, etc.

Examples of Microblogs

Free Microblogging Tools

How To Get Started with Microblogs

  1. Create a free account on a microblogging service like Twitter or Tumblr
  2. Follow a few notable people in your field (try searching at
  3. Create a separate account for your class **optional**
  4. Select a hashtag for your class and include it in your posts regarding the class
  5. Have your students who use Twitter follow you and use the designated hashtag in their course-related tweets
  6. Post announcements, news, and other information items of interest using your selected hashtag

More Microblogging Resources