(501) RSS Feeds

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a way to ensure that information you are attempting to keep up with is available in one location and with minimal effort.  RSS works overtime to check and pull in new information that you have subscribed to.

Mitchell Kapor, the founder of Lotus Development Corporation,  stated that “Getting information off the internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant.”  The RSS ultimately takes the blast of water (content) and turns it into a steady flow from a tap (Google Reader).   By simply subscribing to the ‘feed’ a person will be kept up to date with the latest news and other information available on the web (See web below).

The idea behind RSS is fantastic, in my opinion.  With very minimal experience with RSS I am absolutely impressed with the functionality, simplicity and overall relay of information into one location.

How might teachers use RSS in the classroom?

An article written written in Information Today, Inc entitled Blogging and RSS — The “What’s It?” and “How To” of Powerful New Web Tools for Educators shares opinion and insight on how educators might use RSS:

“For educators, the potential significance of RSS is huge. Think about how teachers and districts could use this syndication process to communicate with students, parents, newspapers, etc. In the classroom, teachers who have students create their own Weblogs can easily keep tabs on what those students are posting by subscribing to their students’ feeds and simply checking their aggregators regularly. If school Web sites were built on a foundation of Weblogs, as with Lewis Elementary, parents could “subscribe” to different feeds that are relevant to their children … say, the feeds from the College Search page, the Board of Education page, and Mr. Richardson’s homework page.” (Richardson, 2004)

With the ever increasing technology being integrated, educators can use tools such as RSS to aid them in making a more complex task easy and centralized.

Other Benefits?

  • You can subscribe to the feeds anonymously without the need for any type of E-mail address of other personal information.
  • Important information such as weather reports, airport delays and stock market news can be subscribed to.
  • If and when you are ready to, you may delete the feed by unsubscribing to it.  This means you are in control.
  • There is a community of free RSS readers.  For the purpose of EDTECH 501, the class used Google Reader.
  • If you run a business and use a website, clients can access your information quickly.  This can help you disperse information, or sell your products with little effort.

This week I created a Google Reader profile, subscribed to over 20 RSS feeds spanning from Educational Blogs, to CNN news to my favorite- The English Premier League Soccer.  Here are the shared feeds I felt were most important to Educational Technology:

http://www.google.com/reader/shared/07570209248752434703

References:

Richardson, W. Blogging and RSS — The “What’s It?” and “How To” of Powerful New Web Tools for Educators. (2004) Retrieved from http://www.infotoday.com/MMSchools/jan04/richardson.shtm

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