RSS Feeds for Education

Originally published on July 15, 2011 on for EDTECH 501 – Introduction to Educational Technology.

July 15, 2011 – Thanks to Google, this learning artifact is no longer available.


Image by Everaldo Coehlo, LGPL 2.1

Google Reader
Image by Everaldo CoehloLGPL 2.1

I suppose I have traditionally preferred doing things the “old fashioned way”, so I haven’t used RSS feeds very often. Though I knew, previous to this assignment, what “RSS” meant and (basically) what it entailed, I had never used anything other than the feeds tab in IE’s favorites menu to subscribe. Even then, I rarely looked back at the tab or actually tried to read a feed. I had not used Google’s reader.

Honestly, before starting this graduate program a few weeks ago, I didn’t have much of a need for a feed reader because I followed very few sites. The few sites that I did follow, most of which were news outlets, all offered an app that I was able to use on my iPod or an email based subscription service. I suppose those apps and email services are essentially just feed readers. I hadn’t made that connection before.

I found a handful of feeds that can be of use to me in the classroom. One aspect of my work is showing the kids how the things we teach relate to the world around us. The news is a great tool in that effort. Our church has also recently created a feed for youth that I plan to use in the classroom this fall to start discussions in class, if for nothing else.

I can see how a feed reader might be valuable to someone who needs or wants to keep an eye out for new content on a host of different sites, especially if it is incorporated into a person’s primary web portal, like an email service, or if the person is a teacher that needs to stay current with certain topics or websites.

The more I think about it, the more I can see a feed-need for students as well. Many have phones or other devices that can connect to the Internet somewhere, even if only at home. Assignments and projects could incorporate active monitoring and reporting on feeds, whether assigned by the teacher or individually chosen. Perhaps I can include our church’s new feed into assignments and not just casual discussion in class.

Author update: Feb. 1, 2014 – It appears that Google has decided to delete this learning artifact from my portfolio. While I am annoyed, I recognize that such is the life of an e-portfolio.

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