Blogs, Podcasts, and Web 2.0 Tools What’s in it for Teachers?
How do you know so much?
What is RSS?
RSS means “Really Simple Syndication”
TIP: Subscription, by the way, is FREE.
What is an RSS feed?
How do you use RSS feeds?
An aggregator, sometimes called a reader, collects (or aggregates) all of your subscriptions in one place, like a magazine rack in your house or classroom.
Once you subscribe to few sources, you no longer need to visit each site, you simply open your aggregator to read any new updates.
The experience can be a lot like reading email, but can also be thought of as reading your own customized newspaper.
Tip for Teachers!
Web based aggregators such as Bloglines and Google Reader are particularly popular with teachers because they let you check your feeds from any computer, while aggregators like NetNewsWire (Mac) or FeedReader (Windows) have more options--but are limited to a single workstation.
iTunes (Windows or Mac) includes an aggregator for subscribing to Podcasts.
How do I subscribe?
Most aggregators have a subscribe button of some kind. Generally, all you need to do is locate the web address of the RSS feed (see the tip below), copy the address, click on the subscribe button in your aggregator, and then paste in the address. From then on, any new updates will appear in your aggregator and save you the trip back to the website.
TIP for Teachers
Most sites with an RSS feed provide a link on their main page, often in a side column, and often indicated by an icon such as the orange one pictured above
Notice that sometimes a direct link is used for subscribing to a particular aggregator such as Google Reader or Bloglines.
Why do you need RSS?
Ultimately, RSS saves you time by bringing the updates to you when they are available.
What can you subscribe to?
RSS was initially intended to help people subscribe to news updates.
Not surprisingly, many news sources have RSS feeds (also called news feeds).
Check out all of the specialized feeds available at CNN.com , including an Education feed.
Demonstrate using Bloglines….
Bloglines - Screenshot
Blogs may be the most common source of RSS feeds.
Almost all blogs have an RSS feed of some kind, if not several.
Professional Development Blogs
Blogs as Administration Tools
Blogs as Discussion Tools
Blog as a Publication Tool
Podcasts are a common source of RSS Feeds--audio and even video
iTunes is a common aggregator for collecting podcasts
Find some PD
at Educational Podcasting Network
the Education category in the iTunes Podcast Directory)