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).
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 commoncraft.com 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.
- Google Reader - Tutorial - Tour. We recommned Google Reader. If you set up your blog on Blogger, you already have a Google account.
- Bloglines - Tutorial
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
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?
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!