A Tumblr blog for sharing kindergarten photos with parents
September 28, 2014 9:06 PM   Subscribe

I would like to post photos for parents from our kindergarten class. I'm thinking of doing it on a password-protected Tumblr site. From what little I can find, it sounds do-able, but...?

Last year my co-teacher set up a Shutterfly account for the kindergarten class, but I find Shutterfly too annoying with their frequent "Buy a photo mug!" emails sent out to everyone—as well as it seeming a more cluttered experience than something like a simple Tumblr blog.

I was thinking a Tumblr site—just a clean, scrollable blog—would make for a nicer user experience for the parents. We (the teachers) would post maybe 1-to-5 photos a day, as well as insightful quotes from the children, audio clips, maybe a video—but mostly use it for photos.

According to this page, creating a password-protected Tumblr site sounds do-able (although it seems a little weird that you have to first set up some un-password-protected blog).

Anyway, I guess it does sound like it's do-able... but have any MeFites done something like this? Am I not thinking of something? Should I be looking at a service other than Tumblr? Something that might fit our needs better, some new school-friendly blogging service?

Thank you for any and all suggestions!
posted by blueberry to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If this is a public school, there may be all sorts of privacy issues. I opted out of my school's picture posting of my children even in a protected website. If this is a public school, check with your administrator. If it is a private school, check with your administrator. Get every parent to sign a waiver.

I know that there are children in my district that are subjects of custody battles and even have restraining orders. Posting a picture that can end up public can be a security problem.
posted by 724A at 9:33 PM on September 28, 2014 [5 favorites]

Can you turn off comments? Because that's just asking for drama of parents can comment. My kid's school sends out a daily newsletter, which is photos of kids and some captions, as an email attachment in a mass bcc-email. They don't identify any child in the few photos on their facebook pages however. The newsletter is basically a bunch of the day's photos dropped onto a template. I would love an Instagram feed or locked tumblr, but I'm an outlier for Internet sharing with my kids, and most parents wouldn't.
posted by viggorlijah at 9:41 PM on September 28, 2014 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: FYI, yes, all of the parents have signed permission forms for their children's photos to be shared with other class parents in an online group.
posted by blueberry at 10:22 PM on September 28, 2014

You could also just use Dropbox. You could set up a new folder each day with that day's pictures, and IIRC wouldn't the photo browser from within Dropbox let users scroll through the pictures like a slide show?
posted by gubenuj at 11:01 PM on September 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'd consider getting a web host and installing Wordpress. By default, you can password-protect posts and pages one-by-one, or you can use a plugin like to password-protect the whole blog. Some advantages:

* You aren't dependent on a third-party service like Tumblr. (If you don't care about this, you could consider wordpress.com.)
* Each teacher can have his or her own WP log-in, so you know who posted what. This info could be shown to parents or hidden from them.
* Using a plugin like this one, you could create user accounts for all of the parents, which would give you a lot of control over who can access the blog. You could also allow parents to register themselves.
* Alternatively, you could use the free version of this plugin if you want all parents to use the same password to access the site.
* There are lots of "clean" WP templates that would allow parents to easily scroll through photos and other content.
* You can easily disable comments.
posted by neushoorn at 2:27 AM on September 29, 2014

I know daycare places that do this via a private Facebook group. Functionality is built in.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:04 AM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

The above posters have done a great job of giving you alternatives as well as advice on potential issues and things to think about. On a purely technical level, yes, you can create a password protected tumblr. I have been both a participant in and creator of password protected tumblrs for school as well as one that was primarily set up for sharing photos. It's easy and nice (if you like how tumblr works to begin with). Good luck!
posted by safetyfork at 3:30 AM on September 29, 2014

When my son went to camp the parents had a private Facebook group to see camp photos and it worked well.
posted by trillian at 6:12 PM on September 29, 2014

My niece lives in Seattle and her 2 kids are going to or have already gone through a local preschool/school. My niece forwards me the circular email that the school sends out each few weeks or so to parents of kids in specific classes. It contains the Flickr a/c name, password and a link to the latest batch of specific class photos. [They have 36K pictures in their account in total I noticed!]
Seems like an eminently sensible way to handle the sharing, if you want an alternative that works. (MefiMail me if you want to know the school name : you could contact them for more details perhaps)
(presumably forwarding the email isn't supported by the school, but I only extract the niecelette's few pics and send those around our family)
posted by peacay at 6:37 AM on October 7, 2014

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