Let's talk about RSS and what that might look like for you as an educator and what that might look like in your classroom. Depending on who you talk to, RSS stands for Rich Site Summary or Real Simple Syndication. We can susbscribe to blogs, newsfeeds, journals, newspapers, wikis, iTunes, current event topics, specific research topics, and more -- really, anything that allows subscription. We will set up a Google account and learn how to work both Google Reader and an iGoogle page.

What does "subscription" really mean?
It's not all that different from subscribing to a magazine or newspaper that comes to your house.

RSS in Plain English

Educational or
Classroom Uses

According to
Web 2.0 Tutorials

  • Keep abreast of current events in news, education, politics and professional organizations.
  • Powerful research tool.
  • Receive updates to your favorite blogs.
  • Subscribe to and network with educational bloggers in your field of study.
  • Share your feeds with other educators. View their feeds.
  • Make announcements to students after class.
  • Track student blogs and wikis.
  • Subscribe to Podcasts.
  • Students can track each other's blogs.
  • Students can share their feeds with each other, creating a collaborative research environment.
  • Students can become more globally aware by subscribing to news and current affairs sites.
  • Helps break down the walls of the classroom to provide connections to the outside world.
  • Subscribe to other people's social bookmarking accounts, and discover new websites everyday.
What are other
educators doing?

I'm not using it as much with my students, but instead more with colleagues to aid in their professional growth. It's one way of helping other see the value of creating a 'personal learning network.' Maybe someday, they'll join us here at Classroom 2.0! (Matt T)

I used google reader this year with my 8th graders. We did an assignments to write the president a letter about an issue that needed his attention in his first 100 days. They set up a google reader account and subscribed to content about their issue. Bonus---many students still follow the issue that they researched for their letter! (Maria G.)

As for Google Reader, I think this is a great way to introduce the power of RSS feeds - anyone who is particularly interested in a given topic can likely find one or more sources of feeds that make it easy to stay informed, and learn more (and many of today's RSS feeds can also be directed into email or RSS feed folders in Outlook). One great way to introduce the technology and have it relate to a standard academic process is to tie it into a reporting or project effort, where students are asked to find at least one decent RSS source for a topic of interest, and then follow up on what they learn from it, or supplement that learning with other more standard sources - maybe even compare the RSS source to other sources for quality or extent of information? Anyway, just some ideas.

As for iGoogle, it provides a wealth of tools, and many students may find the portal idea engaging. For me, the use of Google Apps (which I access from my iGoogle page) is a great way to work on document drafts, or maintain some regularly updated worksheets, from any of a number of different computers I use, without having to worry about what device or network they are stored on (they are always accessible via the Internet!).

[//**www.emergingedtech.com**// - my blog about the use of emerging internet technologies in education] (Kelly W. )
Although there are several tools that act as aggregators for your feeds, Google Reader is the one we are going to focus on.
Here are a few tutorials to get you started.
Sign up for Google Reader
Tour Google Reader
Google Reader Blog - who knew!
Other choices could be Bloglines or NetVibes. Both are great tools.

Google Reader in Plain English

Adding Feeds to Google Reader
Sharing Items with Google Reader - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-qs7HzCkrY

Sugscribe to a Blog
The Eighth Floor Blog
Teachers Teaching Teachers

Subscribe to a Wiki Page

Subscribe to a Social Bookmarking page

Subscribe to a Topic in the News


What is iGoogle?

iGoogle is a customizable homepage

iGoogle lets you create a personalized homepage that contains a Google search box at the top, and your choice of any number of gadgets below. Gadgets come in lots of different forms and provide access to activities and information from all across the web, without ever having to leave your iGoogle page. Here are some things you can do with gadgets:
More iGoogle Tutorials


Add feeds from blogs

You can add any blog that publishes a feed to your iGoogle homepage. The feed looks like any other iGoogle gadget and lets you get automatic updates from the site without leaving your iGoogle page.
To add a blog's feed to your homepage, follow these steps:
  1. Go to the iGoogle directory by clicking Add stuff on the upper right corner of your iGoogle page.
  2. Click Add feed or gadget on the left.
  3. Enter the address of the blog and click Add. If there's a feed associated with the site, it'll be detected automatically.
  4. Click Back to iGoogle home on the upper left corner of the page to see your updated iGoogle page.

Share a tab with a friend

Think you've made the perfect tab? You can send it to others.
  1. Click the tab you want to share.
  2. Click the down arrow next to the name.
  3. Click Share this tab.
  4. Check the boxes for the gadgets you'd like to send, enter your friend's email address, and write a message.
If you check the 'Send my settings for these gadgets' box, the gadgets will appear to your friend much as they appear to you. But sharing works a little differently for every gadget, so be careful when sharing tabs or gadgets that include personal info.

Other Videos or links about Google Reader or iGoogle
Lee Anne's Delicious links for Google
Reader Trends