Louis Gray is a tech blogger that I’ve been following for about six month now. One of the topics that he often explores is the myriad of way in which RSS feeds and readers can be used. On Monday, he had a guest writer, Mike Fruchter who posted a great piece titled 30 Different Uses for RSS. The list is primarily focused on average consumer uses of RSS, but there are some suggestions which could apply to educators. Fruchter suggests subscribing the President’s Weekly Radio Address and subscribing to the NASA feed.
Applications for Education
Extending Fruchter’s idea I’ve listed some uses of RSS for educators and students.
1. If you maintain a blog or website for your classroom, using a service like RSS Mixer to place related content from websites related to your content area is useful for helping students to discover content that they might not otherwise access.
2. If you have students tracking topics over the course of a week or more, consider having them use RSS readers. Generally, there are far fewer distractions, advertising, in the content delivered via RSS than there are on the actual website or blog.
3. For those conducting or taking classes online, RSS is a must. This is particularly true if your class requires contributions to discussions. Following an RSS feed is much easier than trying to see who posted what, where.
4. Piggybacking on #2 above, using an RSS Reader like Google Reader is great way to keep yourself current on developments in your content area. If you’re new to using RSS start small by subscribing to a handful of the websites and blogs that you visit regularly. After you accustomed to reading content in an RSS reader, you’ll find yourself adding subscriptions.
Still not sure what RSS can do for you? Watch this short video from Common Craft.