Getting Connected: Blogs & RSS

Why blog?

  • thoughtful reflection
  • conversations through comments
  • online portfolio
  • meaningful connections

How do you find people to follow?

  • find one, find many

What exactly is RSS?

  • Common Craft: RSS in Plain English
  • Reader options - An online newsreader (ie Google Reader) vs an offline newsreader application (ie Vienna) vs an aggregator (ie Netvibes) vs a mobile RSS “repackager” (ie FlipBoard)
  • How to find the RSS feed on a page? How to know when RSS is available by finding the orange RSS icon, or other clues.
  • How to subscribe to feeds.
  • Creating Bundles. In Google Reader, you can create "bundles" of blogs and publish them as a package. Here's an example. To start a Bundle, go to Home and Browse for Stuff
  • Using RSS to help you manage your student projects. If your students are producing work that can be represented with an RSS feed, use it to pull their work to you so you don't have to constantly be checking what they've done.
  • Do your students already blog? Setting up Bundles to follow their updates.
  • Helping your students use RSS to manage their own information flow for learning
  • You might also try Google Alerts for a simplified concept of what RSS does.

Suggested Readings

  • It's the Blogging by Kim Cofino
  • Committing to Conversations by Kim Cofino
  • Support Blogging

Your Task:

  1. Select 5-10 interesting looking education focused blogs, subscribe to them, and turn them into a bundle. Share your bundles with the rest of the #sistne group.
  2. Create a page using either Netvibes or iGoogle focused on a topic you are currently teaching. Add feeds from Google News Alerts, Blog Search, Diigo, Flickr Images, Google Scholar, etc. (whatever is appropriate for you)
  3. At your table groups, discuss: how could you use blogging or RSS in your classes?
  4. Create your own blog at and share with the #sistne group.

pln on Diigo