Today I am presenting for the Provisions series at CSR -- a lunch time series for faculty to come together and discuss pedagogy. Today's theme is "teaching with technology." Here is what I'll be offering:
Using RSS in the classroom
RSS: Real(ly) Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary = a webfeed delivered as an XML file to an aggregator or feed collector / reader.
General Benefits (for education):
➢ Organizing and streamlining the abundance of content on the web.
➢ Allowing for an approach to reading the combines both scanning (picking out interesting and relevant materials) and synthesizing (making connections between the relevant and interesting materials).
➢ Developing reading skills important for both our students and ourselves as we all become more inundated with information.
➢ Gives students the opportunity to evaluate and weed out content on the web.
• It stays much more current than a textbook: Students can subscribe to topic-specific sites that relate to the course, allowing them to stay aware of recent developments in the field. These feeds can help them with research (both finding topics and finding further information). Students can also contribute to the collection of feeds by seeking out relevant sites on the web and sharing these feeds with the class.
• Ease of reading and commenting on peers’ blogs: In a class that uses blogs, RSS can make more efficient the exchange of ideas and knowledge that makes blogs a worthwhile pedagogical tool in the first place. Students can subscribe to the blogs of their classmates and easily see when they’ve been updated.
• Think differently about writing for a digital world. Using RSS in a classroom where students are writing for the web offers the opportunity for students to think about how to craft writing that might be delivered and initially read in the form of a news feed (ofton only a headline and brief “blurb”).
• Making announcements: Do you always remember something after class that you wanted to say during class? Keep a class blog site for announcements and assignments. Every time you update it, students will be able to view the update via their RSS aggregators.
• Reading students’ blogs: In a blogging classroom, RSS eliminates the need to go to each individual student blog; instead, they come to you. You can read through students’ blogs in half the time. You can also use RSS to keep track of comments left on student blog posts.
• Get updates on the latest news in your field: Google (news.google.com) or yahoo (news.yahoo.com) news advanced search will give you a feed to subscribe to that will update your reader whenever your search topic has new articles locatable on the web.
• Combine with a social bookmarking site like del.icio.us to create feeds for specific tags. If you create a unique tag for a specific class, then any bookmarks you (or anybody) adds with that tag will be automatically fed to both your RSS reader and your students’.
NetNewsWire and NetNewsWire Lite
• Blogs for Learning article by David Parry: “The Technology of Reading and Writing in the Digital Space: Why RSS is Crucial for a Blogging Classroom”
• Will Richardson’s online guide to RSS: “RSS: A Quick Start Guide for Educators”; and his blog Weblogg-ed; and his book Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms Corwin Press, 2006.
• Wikipedia entries on RSS and web feed
O'Reilly's XML and RSS page
From teachinghacks.com -- RSS ideas in Education
For a great non-technical explanation: "How to Explain RSS the Oprah Way"