Monday, January 9, 2012

Thing 3: RSS

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It allows you to check for updates on blogs, online newspapers, and other regularly updated sites by visiting one page, rather than visiting ALL the different sites. The orange RSS icon that appears on many websites lets you know that you can subscribe to the site's updates.

Common Craft does a great "Plain English" explanation of what RSS is:

(You may need to click through to YouTube to watch this video)

Many of you probably already have websites that you check regularly-and hopefully you're planning on following this blog and your colleagues' blogs as well! The best way to do this is to use a RSS feed reader like Google Reader; here's another Common Craft video about GoogleReader (please note that the video is a few years old, and layout/some features have changed):

Your task for this week is to sign up for either Google Reader or another news reader, add your colleagues' blogs (you can find them listed in My Blog List to the right), and at least three other blogs, or online newspapers. Chances are, some of the websites you regularly visit already have RSS feeds! In your blog, write about your experience using Google Reader, if you think you would use it, and how you could use it professionally.

Not sure what to add to your Google Reader account? Here are some news sites that have RSS feeds available:

And here are some of my favorite blogs (i.e. these are where I get many of the ideas and resources I share with you), and links to places to find other great blogs:
You can also search for blogs in your content area using Google--or subscribe to blogs that have nothing to do with education!

So, to complete Thing 3, you need to:
  • Set up a Google Reader account
  • Add the blogs of your colleagues
  • Add three other blogs or newsites
  • Write a post reflecting on your experience with RSS and news readers

Beyond the Thing:
The Edublogger's Guide to Using Google Reader

Want to add an RSS button to your blog? You can do so by going to Design --> Add a Gadget --> Feed

Use this Firefox Add-on to add an RSS icon in your location bar (if there isn't on there already)

For those looking for help, I am generally available during B and D blocks (and of course other times by arrangement).

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