Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I Thought Only Kids Did The Reading...

Web 2.0 and Social Media information is easily available for teachers, administrators and other school leaders. Through blogs (like this one), Twitter, News sites, Wikis, and general websites, it can get a bit overwhelming if you try to sit down and sift through all the fluff to get to the good stuff. Thank goodness for RSS and RSS Readers.

What is RSS you ask?

In a nutshell, Really Simple Service, or RSS allows you to get instant updates when your favorite sites change. For example, this blog has an RSS feed that you can subscribe to. So instead of checking back here hour after hour and day after day, your reader will notify you when I have added a new post. Most sites offer the ability to subscribe, via RSS, so you can keep up.

Not sure if your favorite sites offer RSS? Look for this symbol:

So, now that you understand a little bit about what RSS is now you need a reader. A reader you ask? Yep, you need a place to organize all those feeds in one easy to view location. Kind of like an electronic newspaper, except you get to choose the content. There are several options out there, but one of the best is Google Reader. Here is a great video tutorial on setting up a Google Reader account.

How To Use Google Reader

So, you are armed with your Google Reader and a basic understanding of RSS and how to subscribe to feeds. What else is missing? Ah, feeds! You need some feeds to subscribe to. Check out this post I did on Educational Blogs you need to be reading. There is also a great collection of all types of Educational Blogs, organized by curriculum area and/or subject matter here. And here is another list of Education Blogs.

So, go forth, subscribe away. Remember, it can be overwhelming at times. Learn from me. A few weeks ago my reader hit 1500 entries a day and I had to scale it back some. So, go slow. But do remember, check it each day and learn something new!

Image from Flickr Creative Commons


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