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Discovering the Power of the RSS Feed

December 1, 2014

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The IEASC (Innovative Educator Advanced Studies Studies Certificate) has been a worthwhile program introducing me to many valuable ed. tech tools, solidifying my knowledge in how to incorporate these tools into instruction with a focus on the pedagogy rather than the tool and emphasizing the important role we have as educators to prepare our students to be literate in 21st Century skills. I recently completed a unit that focused on RSS feeds – Real Simple Syndication.

I was familiar with the term and recognized the RSS symbol on websites, but hadn’t previously spent much time with this tool. I was pleasantly surprised by all that I learned and how impactful RSS feeds can be in following student work and customizing resources that I use for professional development and networking. An RSS feed brings together several web feed formats aggregating updated blog entries, news headlines and topics of interest such as the weather, video or a Twitter feed onto one page or site.

I chose to begin my personal exploration with Bloglines.

png;base648b8a76da81e2221aI created several pages based on my interests and the websites I visit most often. Wow! I am loving this tool. Yet, now that I’ve figured this out for my personal use, my thoughts go to how to I pass this tool on to my teachers in a way that the tool can be incorporated into their instructional practices and be worthwhile. My first thoughts went to a productivity tool in terms of following student blogs. but didn’t feel confident in how I could present this idea to staff. As I dove into some of the resources provided in the module provided through the IEASC program, I discovered a treasure trove of knowledge.

Will Richardson’s “A Quick Start Guide for Educators” offers many ideas and suggestions. Richardson’s guide provided good instructions on how to set up a Bloglines RSS feed and how to use this tool and how to use it to follow student blogs while also reducing the teacher workload. Richardson goes on to describe how to use the feed to do web searches, follow the news and bookmark pages of interest.

The incorporation of an RSS feed into instructional practice also supports evidence of the National Education Technology Standards. While a case could be made for how the RSS feed could support each of the standards. I think it falls most strongly under NETS Standard  3 – Model Digital Age Work and Learning

Teachers exhibit knowledge, skills, and work processes representative of an innovative professional in a global and digital society.

  1. Demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new technologies and situations
  2. Collaborate with students, peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation

cross posted at http://innovaativeethicalleadership.blogspot.com/

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