I recently learned what an RSS feed was. According to Press-Feed.com, an RSS (“Real Simple Syndication”) “is a content delivery vehicle.” A “feed” is when the content is disseminated to an audience.
Why is this interesting? You can load these “feeds” into a “feeder,” and you don’t have to visit all of the websites to get the information any longer.
I have started using one of these recently that I LOVE. It is called Feedly. If there are already sites and blogs you check out regularly add those, but they also offer categories of information with lists of suggested sites. For example, my categories include: writing, teaching, cooking and news among others. These are some of the sites I have in my “teaching” feed:
- NPR Education
- Educator’s Technology and Mobile Learning
- Mind Shift
- New York Times Education
- TED Education
- Blogging About the Web 2.0 Classroom
- Film English
This is the website where you can load your feeds:
Really, the best thing about using Feedly is that it can be downloaded as an app, and then you can quickly review the headlines, read the articles, and save/email/post the ones you want from your phone. the app looks like this once you download it:
It is very appealing aesthetically, but it is also very user friendly. After you review the articles automatically fed into Feedly, you can mark the list as “read,” and they disappear. In addition, you can also place the articles in a “Save for Later” category by holding down on the headline until it blinks. Then, you can go back and decide what to do with them, whether it is print, post, read or email, all of which could be done from a smart phone.
I have learned a lot of new information about technology and resources for education through using Feedly. It is a fast, easy way to process information.
“The shape, structure and hierarchy of the corporation has not responded to the huge flow of information that companies now have at their fingertips… They had computerized their 20th Century shape rather than responding to how the computer network was upending much of what they had been set up to do decades before. It was one of the many things they don’t teach you in business school.”
-Peter Day, “Imagine a World Without Shops and Factories”
In this article by Day, given to me by my husband, a director in the customer analytics area, he talks about how companies have yet to respond to changing dynamic the internet has introduced into the business world. The article discusses how industry came to be what it is today with Ford’s manufacturing model and how the individualization of today’s society has made that model irrelevant to the modern consumer in the developed world.
I could not help but find parallels between this dialogue in the business world and that in the field of education today. We, too, are trying to respond to a changing landscape- and ultimately preparing students for the environment Day is predicting for the future.
We, too, have more information about those whom we are serving than ever before and are struggling to figure out how to use it.
We, too, know that the internet and technology are paramount to students’ success but are in uncharted territory when it comes to how we can harness, and help students harness, this power.
Blogs are basically a personal webpage where information is listed in chronological fashion with each new post appearing at the top of the home screen. Generally, they are updated with new journals or articles with some regularity (if they are maintained).
Robin Love has been using Edublogs to provide an online venue for students to publish work. Each of her students have created a blog they will update weekly. She plans to use this resource for both personal reflections and student responses to literature and classroom activities.
Here is her blog if you want to check it out. All of her students blogs are linked to her page and are contained within a “class,” but as an outsider, they cannot be accessed without the password. However, students can respond to one another as posts appear.
She has created an easy to follow resource for students to use when getting started. I watched her students go through the process, and they did not appear to have any trouble.
Here is a copy of the handout for the student set-up: Love Shack Blogs
If you are interested in blogs and don’t feel comfortable getting started, let me know and I can try to help you set up.
I know there are other teachers using online publishing and collaboration tools, and I am eager to continue checking those out! More to come very soon.
Instructional coach Brian Seymour shared this application with me during a coaches meeting, and it seems VERY handy for pulling images and text from sources online.
The directions to access it are as follows:
1. Go —> Applications —>Utilities —> Grab (you can pull the icon to your tools at the bottom of your desktop if you don’t want to do this every time) —> At this point, “Capture” appears at the top of your screen next to “File” and “Edit”
2. Go to the website you want to “grab” an image from (I went to this website which has some awesome images I have used in class)
3. Choose the image you want (I used this one)
4. Click “Capture” at the top of your screen —> click “Select”
5. Now, you can click and drag over what you want to save. You will see a box outline the selected area, the image will be created in a seperate file which pops up and you can save it where you want!
Here is the one I saved:
There are two things about using this application. One, if you are not able to download “Grab” let me know; I will send a Helpdesk ticket for you. Two, when I wanted to put this image on my blog, I had to “save as” a a jpeg file. It will automatically save as a tif file. If you need help trying this out, let me know.