Edtech 501: RSS Feeds

RSS is such a valuable tool for every educator. As a Language Arts teacher, it was especially interesting to find how many resources my students could possibly use for their Research Papers. MLA has several RSS feeds that students could subscribe to and find valuable information about new developments in citation and plagiarism. Students could have discussion or a “current events” type forum in class to discuss their findings and how they relate to their particular topic.

At the New York Public Library’s website, students can subscribe to blogs about specific subjects that we will discuss in class like poetry and mythology. Students could use these blogs to deepen their understanding the specific genre we’re studying or just be responsible for responding to the blog entry in class.

I can subscribe to the Daily Writing Tips for Grammar feed and have a daily writing assignment for my students in class. Not only is the information valuable, but it’s written in a way that even my high schoolers will enjoy. Each tip is a short passage to read that could take the place of my journal-bell work everyday.

The Grammar Vandal is a truly unique RSS Feed that I think my students will appreciate and enjoy. For years, I have searched for unique ways of teaching my students about proper grammar without boring them to death. The Grammar Vandal approaches the topic as one of “taking it to the streets and correcting America, one comma at a time”. It’s witty and funny and provides pictures to emphasize their points. I will definitely use this particular feed in my class during our grammar unit.

Overall, I have found many ways to utilize RSS feeds in my classroom and I know that there are many more. I found a variety of resources and tips for science, math and social studies classrooms as well that would prove to be extremely useful. Google Reader allows us to access these feeds without having to search all over the Internet for them and allows us to skim over articles that may not interest us. The Reader also allows us to share some of these feeds with colleagues and friends, so that others may also benefit from the new information. I think that this is a definitive way to stay up to date on new developments in our areas of expertise without spending a ridiculous amount of time searching for a site. RSS does indeed have, a lot of potential in the realm of education.

***UPDATE August 18, 2013- Google Reader was discontinued , however here are a list of alternative RSS tools .

Standards Applied:

3.1 Media Utlization: In this assignment, we found ways in which the RSS Feeds could be effectively utilized in an educational setting. (see examples above)

3.3 Implementations and Institutionalization: Through using Google Reader, RSS becomes a resource that can be used again and again, as new information is presented.

4.3 Delivery System Managment: When using the Google Reader, we had to add new RSS feeds to our page. These feeds send new information to our reader as it becomes present. The way in which the information is managed allows the reader to see updated material before older material, as well as keeps track of what the reader has already seen. The way in which the material is presented to the student can be in the form of a voice thread, a video or an article. All of these options allow for choices for students interaction with the text.

4.4 Information Managment: Google Reader allows us to have a Shared Documents folder. Sharing articles and feeds along with comments about those feeds is extremely easy with this program. The teacher can send the information to classes to read, or can assign in class. Either way, it is an easy way to share information.


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