• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!



Page history last edited by Brian Grenier 15 years, 2 months ago

Table of Contents  


Blogging in the Classroom

Wiki Wiki


Become a Campus Role Model

RSS - Bringing the Web to You

Digital Storytelling

Technology and Your PLC

Growing Up Online


RSS - Bringing the World Wide Web to You



"Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein."  

      – H. Jackson Brown



What is RSS? 


Wikipedia describes RSS this way:

RSS is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated digital content, such as blogs, news feeds or podcasts.

Users of RSS content use programs called feed 'readers' or 'aggregators': the user 'subscribes' to a feed by supplying to their reader a link to the feed; the reader can then check the user's subscribed feeds to see if any of those feeds have new content since the last time it checked, and if so, retrieve that content and present it to the user.


From an educator standpoint, especially if your students are creating and posting to their own blog site, enabling RSS syndication will save you the time and effort of having to go to each individual blog and check for new content.  By setting up a RSS feed aggregator account at a site like Bloglines or Google Reader, you will be able to "subscribe" to and track new content coming from a number of sites all from one web page. 



A Great Video that Explain RSS in Plain English



There are two types of Internet users, those that use RSS and those that don't. This video is for the people who could save time using RSS, but don't know where to start. 


What to Look For...


The number of websites that offer their readers RSS accessability continues to grow daily.  If you are interested in subscribing to a particular webpage, but are unsure whether or not the page is "subscribable", you may want to keep an eye out for one or more of the following symbols/buttons/text:


Yes, this may seem to be a lot to take in, but what you should take away from this is that websites identify their RSS feed in a number of ways.  As you begin to subscribe to more and more webpages, identifying the RSS feed should become easier and easier for you.

 Ideas for Using RSS in Your Classroom



The box to the right was created using one of the tools offered through my Google Reader account.  The links are live links to the three most recent posts made by "edubloggers" that I have subscribed to.  Using RSS capabilities to provide live, up-to-the-minute, links in your class webpage, wiki, or blog is one way in which you can use the power of RSS in your classroom.  I chose to include links to other edubloggers for this site, you, however, may choose to include a feed to topics that are relevant to your particular class or subject.  As an example, if your class was working through a global warming unit, you could opt to embed an RSS feed that tracks current news articles that relate to global warming.  In this way, the time it would take for students to go out on the internet and actually search for current events dealing with global warming is saved and can be dedicated to the analysis and discussion of the topic at hand.  Other ways you could possibly use RSS in your classroom include: 


  • Setting up RSS feeds and subscribing to student generated blogs as a way to track entries and save time.
  • Subscribing to the comments on students' or other blog site to keep abreast of the conversation taking place.
  • Subscribing to RSS search feeds as a way to research and keep current with a particular topic of interest.
  • Using you RSS news feed as a way to discuss current events with your students.
  • Using an RSS feed to compile a list of class generated, web bookmarks.
  • Adding RSS capability to your classroom podcast, allowing others to subscribe and keep up to date with the content you are producing.


RSS Feed Aggregators


Before you begin subscribing to various RSS feeds, you need to have access to the tool that will aggregate all your feeds in one place.  That tool is called an RSS feed aggregator, and there are many out there to choose from. Aggregators reduce the time and effort needed to regularly check websites for updates, creating a unique information space or "personal newspaper." Once subscribed to a feed, an aggregator is able to check for new content at user-determined intervals and retrieve the update. The content is sometimes described as being "pulled" to the subscriber, as opposed to "pushed" with email or IM. Unlike recipients of some "pushed" information, the aggregator user can easily unsubscribe from a feed. Personally, I prefer the functionality and design of Google Reader and have opted to use it as my aggregator of choice.  However, you may find that you prefer another RSS aggregator and the options that it make available.  A short list of possible RSS feed aggregators you may be interested in utilizing to subscribe to feeds includes




Social Bookmarking


Social bookmarking is a way for internet users to store, classify, share and search Internet bookmarks...In a social bookmarking system, users store links to web pages that they find useful. These link lists are either accessible to the public or a specific network, and other people with similar interests can view the links by category, tags, or even randomly...Since the classification and ranking of resources is a continuously evolving process, many social bookmarking services allow users to subscribe to web feeds (see Atom or RSS) based on tags, or collection of tag terms. This allows subscribers to become aware of new resources for a given topic, as they are noted, tagged, and classified by other users. (Source: Wikipedia)


There are a number of social bookmarking sites out on the web to choose from including Del.icio.us, Furl, and Simpy. It's a matter of personal preference as to which site you choose to use.  All sites are similar in the way they operate and what they have to offer, however, experience has shown me that of the three listed, del.icio.us seems to be the most popular choice among users, and thus has become my personal choice for social bookmarking.  The links in the box to the right are live links to my four most recent del.icio.us bookmarks and have been embedded on this page through the use of RSS.  Embedding social bookmarks into a classroom webpage, blog, or wiki is one way you, as an educator, can harness the power of the free tools offered to you through such sites.  It is also possible to subscribe to the RSS feed of some people's bookmarks.  Notice the RSS button in the box, clicking on it will allow you to add this feed to your RSS aggregator.  You can find a link to a del.icio.us tutorial that you can print out in the Tools and Resources section at the bottom of the page.





RSS Workshop Participants






 Tools and Resources


 Additional Reading and Listening


 Brian's RSS Bookmarks from del.icio.us

  • Page2RSS - It is a service that helps you monitor web sites that do not publish feeds It will check any web page for updates and deliver them to your favorite RSS aggregator.
  • Simply Del.icio.us by David Muir - A blog entry with a basic tutorial on del.icio.us
  • BBC: The Feed Factory - This site  is an introduction to the RSS feeds that are available from bbc.co.uk.
  • RSS Feeds from the Library of Congress
  • Google Reader Tutorial - In this 10-minute video tutorial, you'll learn how to get started with Google Reader: set up your account, find and subscribe to feeds, organize your subscriptions, tag and share noteworthy feed items, and use Google Reader to publish your own link blog.
  • Another Google Reader tutorial  Posted by Robert Safuto from the Awakened  Voices Learning Center blog site.
  • Google Reader Blog - the official blog site for Google Reader
  • del.icio.us Button - This is the classic official del.icio.us extension, updated to work with Firefox 2.0. It offers everything you need to seamlessly integrate the del.icio.us service with your Firefox browser. Included in the extension are two buttons which allow you to easily post items to del.icio.us, and access your saved items from del.icio.us.
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