RSS In Education

RSS in Education

Real Simple Syndication (RSS) has been around a long time.  RSS searches the websites and blogs that a person follows and then stores the posts from those sites in one place, making it easier to find and read.  For many years it was not considered safe to use in K-12 education, but that is changing.

Below is my RSS in Education tutorial.  I decided, that when my school district  allows RSS and blogs in the classroom, they will need a set of tutorials for the students.  This would be the second in a series of tutorials using RSS and blogs.  My learner population would be 3rd-5th graders being introduced to this concept.  Each tutorial will be only five minutes long, to keep students actively watching and listening. After each tutorial the students would have opportunities to practice the new skill.  This tutorial is an overview of Feedly (an RSS aggregator) and shows (very quickly) how to add content and create a category. My goal is to have students become comfortable working with Feedly and logging on every day or two to check the topics that interest them.  After they became comfortable with this, next we would add blogs where the students would have writing activities that are shared with the teacher and class.  They would also be able to use their RSS feed, later in the term or year, to conduct research on current events.

What did I learn from this project?

As I was reading and thinking about this project, I had to picture if I would use RSS with elementary students.  It took me a day or two to understand that RSS would be an effective tool in the classroom. Students being allowed to find -appropriate- websites and blogs that they are interested in.  Allowing them time to check these feeds.  Using that as a base for writing activities and discussions.  Hey, this would be a learner directed classroom!  During my research into RSS, I read that blogs could be used for writing activities instead of pen and paper.  Hmm, the dog or  a baby sister, could not eat the blog! Students could also view this at home and so could the parents.  Yes, there are management issues with this tool, however this can be a powerful motivator to learning.  
I also learned how to get around Feedly while making the video.  I kept thinking, "Oh I know how this will work" and would start Screenr (the on-screen video recording service), only to have Feedly do something different.  So through this project, I feel more confident and comfortable using Feedly.   
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