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RSS (Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary)

1.  Links to the sources that were used:

RSS - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Basic definition of RSS as well as some interesting histroy of how these feeds were developed.

Introduction to RSS | WebReference

This site provides some of the specific html codes that make RSS possible.

What Is RSS? RSS Explained - www.WhatIsRSS.com

Explains what someone would need to do in order to start utilizing this technology.

Video: RSS in Plain English - YouTube

Great visual representation for RSS

A Beginner's Guide to RSS and Google Reader

Specifics on how to receive RSS feeds

2. Approach/Description of the Learning Process:

Step 1:  I have never heard of RSS, so my first step is to understand what it is and how it works.  Second, I want to explore the strenghts of RSS for educators as well as the benifit this type of technology has on students.  My goal is to utilize this information in my classroom before the school year ends.

Step 2:  So, come to find out I actually use an RSS quite a bit.  I was reccommded an app for my iPad called Pulse.  It gathers recent articles (mostly from sport related websites) and collects them in one easy to read format.  I would suspect that most people have used one form of an RSS at some point in the last year without knowing it.

What is a RSS?

Check out this informative clip: 

In a nutshell,  RSS feeds bring information to you.  You no longer have to waste time searching all of your different on-line calendars, blogs, and websites.  All of this can be sent to you in one, simple to use, location.  (*If this still seems confusing, I have attached an additional clip at the bottom of this page)

Let's talk about Google Reader:

There are many "readers" (formats in which RSS feeds can be collected) out there, but I have found that Google Reader is easy and effective if you are just starting out.  Here is a brief description of how it works.  It comes from the home page of the Reader function of Google (I have also included a link:https://accounts.google.com/ServiceL...tab%3Dwy&hl=en).

"Google Reader helps you find and keep track of interesting stuff on the web. You can subscribe to your favorite websites, and keep up with what's popular. New content comes to your Google Reader when it's posted, so you don't need to visit individual sites.

Plus, Reader keeps track of which items you've read, so you only see unread items when you come back. If there's a border around an item, Reader is marking that item as read."

Benefits to Educators and Students:

1.  The first benefit to educators is to help in keeping information organized.  As an educator who uses multiple on-line calendars to keep track of school related activities, personal activities, sport schedules, etc.., RSS feeds have allowed me to sync all of this information to one central location.  So when our Athletic Director updates a sport schedule on the school calendar, that update is directly sent to my Google Calendar.  If my wife schedules something on her calendar, it automatically is scheduled on my calender as well.  If my professor adds an assignment on CANVAS, that addition will be sent directly to me.  Sadly this eliminates the excuse, "I didn't know about that meeting, assignment, date, etc.."  But the good news is that it also eliminates those same excuses from your students.

2.  The second benefit can be found in the way you have your students collect information.  A Social Studies teacher could have his/her students set up RSS feeds to local, state, national, and global newspapers in order to track current events.  An English teacher could have his/her students set up RSS feeds to follow current journalists to map stylistic choices in their writing based on the audience they are writing for.  An Art teacher could assign a current artist for students to follow, and every time that artist updates his/her blog, places a new piece of work on their website, or shares a collection with a musuem that student will know about it immediately without searching for it.  The possiblities are endless.