Thing #8: RSS Feeds and Readers

Have you heard of RSS? Maybe you’ve seen those little orange symbols on websites? Possibly you have heard colleagues and friends talk about their readers. Well don’t worry, according to this survey you’re still in the majority, but this is changing rapidly.

In the information world, RSS is not only revolutionizing the way news, media, and content creators share information, but it also is swiftly changing the way everyday users are consuming information. As leaders in the acquisition of information, it is one Web 2.0 tool that you MUST know how to use and use regularly.

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” and is a file format for delivering regularly updated information over the web. Just think about the blogs, websites, and news information sources you visit everyday. It takes time to visit those sites and scour the ad-filled and image-heavy pages for just the text you want to read, doesn’t it?

Now imagine if you could visit all those blogs, information sources, and web pages in just one place and all at the same time … without being bombarded with advertising… without having to search for new information on the page you’d already seen or read before… and without having to consume a lot of time visiting each site individually.

Would that be valuable to you? Well, it’s available now through an RSS reader (sometimes called an aggregator).

Background Information:
To learn learning about RSS feeds and what free tools you can use to do this, here are some activities you need to complete

1.Watch this video - RSS in Plain English (YouTube won't show in district but here is the TeacherTube copy!)

2. Read Newbie's Guide to Google Reader

Now that you have background and understanding about RSS and readers, it's time for some Discovery Activities:

1. Select a reader and create a free account.

2. Now add at least 5 blog sites to your reader plus any news sources you may want to follow. Most likely, you will be pasting the address into the links bar inside the reader to add the feeds you choose. Just follow the directions provided by your reader.

Here are some suggested blogs to look at. You may select others by going to Google Blog Search and searching keywords of your choice.

3. Create a post in your blog about this Thing #8 that answers these questions:

  • What do you like about RSS and readers?
  • How do you think you might be able to use this technology in your school or personal life?
  • How can libraries/teachers/administrators use readers or take advantage of this new technology?

4. Optional: Make your reader list public. Create a public page with Google Reader or provide a link to your public Bloglines account .

Sharing information is a key component for 21st Century life-long learners and you have made that activity easy now that you have an RSS reader set up. Have fun reading all about whatever!


MHS Broadcasting said...

It's nice to have RSS feeds taught in layman's terms. Who would have thought it was so easy?

hodgepodge said...

I need help in trying to find my RSS page. Help!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy using my RSS feed. I find that I am keeping more up-to-date on current issues and finding some great things I wouldn't have otherwise!

Chad & Ashley England said...

I love the video content that simplifies the information... the creators had a great idea to use this fun and easy approach!