Thing #8 Learn about RSS feeds and set up a blog reader account

Have you heard of RSS? Maybe you’ve seen those little orange symbols on websites? Possibly you have heard colleagues and friends talk about their readers. In the information world, RSS is not only revolutionizing the way news, media, and content creators share information, but it also is swiftly changing the way everyday users are consuming information. As leaders in the acquisition of information, it is one Web 2.0 tool that you MUST know how to use and use regularly.

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” and is a file format for delivering regularly updated information over the web. Just think about the websites and news information sources you visit everyday. It takes time to visit those sites and scour the ad-filled and image-heavy pages for just the text you want to read, doesn’t it? Read more about RSS here.

Now imagine if you could visit all those information sources and web pages in just one place and all at the same time … without being bombarded with advertising… without having to search for new information on the page you’d already seen or read before… and without having to consume a lot of time visiting each site individually. Would that be valuable to you? Well, it’s available now through a newsreader and RSS (sometimes called an aggregator).
Background Information:

To learn about RSS feeds and what free tools you can use to do this, here are some activities you need to complete.

1. Watch this video-RSS in Plain English at or on YouTube by clicking below:

2. Read Newbie's Guide to Google Reader.

Now that you have background and understanding about RSS and readers, it's time for some Discovery Activities:

1. Select a reader and create a free account.
2. Now add at least 5 blog sites to your reader plus any news sources you may follow. Most likely, you will paste the address into the links bar inside the reader to add the feeds you choose. Just follow the directions provided by your reader.

Here are some suggested blogs to look at. You may search for others by going to Google Blog Search and searching keywords of your choice.

Cynsations - Author, Cynthis Leitich Smith
A Fuse #8 Production - A blog at School Library JournalNeverendingsearch - another blog at School Library Journal
Information Wants to be Free - by Meredith Farkas
Tame the Web - by Michael Stephens
Reading Rants
Virtual Dave..Real Blog by Professor Dave Lankes
Librarian in Black - by Sarah Houghton-Jan

3. Create a post in your blog about Thing #8. Think about these questions:
  • What do you like about RSS and newsreaders?
  • How do you think you might be able to use this technology in your school or personal life?
  • How can schools/librarians/teachers/administrators use readers or take advantage of this new technology?
Optional: If you're up to the challenge, create a public page with Google Reader or proved a link to your public Bloglines account.

Sharing information is a key component for 21st Century life-long learners and you have made that activity easy now that you have an RSS reader set up. Have fun reading all about whatever!

1 comment:

ACavazos said...

Week Four; Thing #8 Learn about RSS feeds and set up a blog reader account

Instead of you searching for information, it comes to you in the form of updates, that is if you subscribe to RSS feeds. Very time effective, and a great selective way to receive only what you are interested in to start subscribing.