RSS in the classroom…I created three bundles, one related to science in the news, since I teach science, and love to read the latest news. The second bundle is related to Educational Technology resources, since that is what the scope of the assignment is all about. The third is a bundle of Teaching Science, some involve technology so could be in bundle #2, but I liked pulling out the science specific teaching resources.
First, I had to figure out exactly what is RSS, and second how to use it, before I could begin to think about how to use it in the classroom.
RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, is a way to collect all the resources (news articles, blog posts, etc) you want to review in one convenient location. I think it is a useful tool, as I already subscribe to news stories via email, but now that I use RSS, I no longer have to weed through so many emails to find information. It really will help to clean up my inbox, and organize information into one convenient place. Of course, it took me some time to figure out which websites to choose. It seems, like all things web related, each click brings one to a new & interesting site. Weeding through all these sites can be time consuming, but now that I have done it, all the news that I want is delivered to my Google Reader in one convenient location without filling my inbox or requiring me to search the web daily. Once I get into a routine of using the Google Reader, I think it will be a real time saver.
Of course, it will require maintenance, as I delete some feeds, and add others. The one organization that I wish used RSS is the National Science Teacher’s Association list server. I have signed up to receive email updates from fellow teachers of Earth Science and Physics, but there are days when my email box is filled with these valuable teaching questions and ideas, and emails are rejected as a result. It will be great if and when this email list server goes RSS!
When I think about how to use RSS in the high school classroom, a couple of ideas come to mind. First, if a teacher has a website or a blog, the teacher could set up RSS feed to which students could subscribe. Any updates or changes to assignments could be posted there. That way students could get the latest information without having to go the website or blog. It might be a way for the school or school district to communicate with families as well. Second idea that comes to mind, is that it might be a way to help students with research for projects. Perhaps RSS could be a way to organize acceptable articles and resources to use for research.
Taking it a step further, students could create their own blog as a way to showcase their learning, a digital portfolio. I think it would be a good way to notify classmates and teachers when new content is added.
Since RSS is new to me, I am sure that my ideas will evolve as I learn how to use it. One thing is for sure, RSS is another tool that we can use in schools to help keep students connected.
I chose standard 2.4 Integrated Technologies because RSS uses a computer to integrate information from a variety of sources. Additionally, I chose standard 4.2 Resource Management because creating the RSS feed involves monitoring & controlling support systems. I enjoyed this assignment. I hope it cleans up my inbox & helps to keep me more organized and informed.