Throughout my learning journey I am constantly discovering a variety of new acronyms such as RSS and feel as though theses terms are another language that I cannot yet fluently speak. The first time I heard “RSS/ feed aggregator” I felt lost and utterly confused, I had no idea what people were talking about.
After discussing with friends and searching the Internet I realised I have been staring at the RSS icon most of the time I made a new search on the Internet. I honestly had no idea what the icon was for and never thought to press it. Until now thanks to Managing E-learning simple things such as a RSS defined as “Really Simple Syndication” are becoming a lot clearer and I now understand how useful that little orange button actually is.
There are many different reader programs, Google Reader is a feed reader that allows the user to subscribe and read RSS and Atom feeds from news, blogs, websites or any other allied favourites while online or offline (Gil, 2009).
Creating my own Google Reader account was a simple process as Google Reader allows me to easily monitor and retrieve information automatically and instantly from other blogs and websites that I find appealing and wish to follow.
I simply click the RSS button to subscribe and it automatically keeps me updated to my subscribed feeds. I have found this tool very useful for this assessment task and many of my additional studies, as I can easily follow any new posts made by my peers by opening one web page instead of having over twenty web sites open at a time on my task bar. This is a fantastic time saving tool for navigating your searches on the Internet!
Like Jane I too have “herded” all my e-friends and followers to one place. This is great as I like things to be kept in order and easy to access which is exactly what you can do using Google Reader, by creating category folders to make posts easier to view.
How can this be incorporated into the classroom?
Personally I feel there are multiple advantages this tool can provide to support and enhance students learning within the classroom. For example students can use this collaborative resource to approach assigned tasks such as researching a chosen country. Enabling students to collaboratively contribute to the set task and share their own thoughts and gathered findings about the countries attributes such as weather, language, foods, tourist attractions and many more without having to navigate their way to multiple web pages.
As a class, students can each create a blog to help one and another with their homework, developing deeper understandings of what is being taught at school allowing student to use higher order thinking to achieve set tasks. Kearsley & Shneiderman’s (1999) Engagement Theory discuss that technology can aid the engagement level of students when providing opportunities for collaboration amongst a community of learners, as it enhances active processes such as reasoning, problem solving and reflecting.
Learning managers can monitor each individual’s progress and answer questions through the incorporation of an RSS. This is a fantastic e-learning tool for those introverted students who sometimes struggle to get a word in during class time. Providing students a chance to become actively engaged with online discussions without having to dread the face to face contact in the classroom is an excellent basis to cater for all learners.
Until next time,
Forysthe, M.(2008). RSS Icons.Retrieved August 12,2009, from http://images.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=http://comingupforair.net/wp/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/rss-icons.jpg&imgrefurl=http://comingupforair.net/2008/01/rss-icons/&usg=__iU8bpyV3f2IDNK3kLttXIVt44BQ=&h=447&w=500&sz=35&hl=en&start=14&um=1&tbnid=XQfcMykPGuiz0M:&tbnh=116&tbnw=130&prev=/images%3Fq%3Drss%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D1T4SUNA_enAU298AU299%26sa%3DN%26um%3D1
Gil, P. (2009). What is a RSS?: Internet for Beginners. Retrieved August 12,2009, from http://netforbeginners.about.com/od/rssandlivewebfeeds/f/rss.htm
Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology- based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 12, 2009, fromhttp://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm