When I read the Weekly Plans for ECMP 355 this week, I stopped my students during their work period and asked them if any of them knew what an RSS reader was. They (almost all in unison) shook their heads “no” and waited for me to give them the answer. I laughed and said, “Well neither do I. I was actually asking”.
I had come across the acronym before but admittedly had no idea what it stood for or was. My lack of knowledge reminded me of why I was taking this course and that I should probably know this by now. All I can say is… Thank you Google! I started exploring feedly probably 30 seconds after I typed “RSS reader” into the Google search bar. Rather than reading about what an RSS reader was, I started exploring myself.
To choose the content/blogs that I wanted to follow, I simply looked at everything through the lens of “Will this benefit me or overwhelm me?”. Seeing the word “free” caught my eye, and I followed “Free Technology for Teachers”. I am a teacher. I am looking to incorporate more technology into my classroom. I like free things. Done deal.
Free Technology for Teachers ended up being a great resource with lots of information that applies to me. My school uses Google Calendar daily, whether it be for booking the computer carts or letting others know of events going on in the school. For this reason, I was drawn to the article “5 Google Calendar Tips for New Users”. It even included a video that I later followed to a great YouTube channel. This source is perfect for me because I often find ideas for classroom lessons, etc. on social media, but this one is geared more toward teachers and what they can use behind the scenes, like Google Calendar.
Another blog that caught my eye was “TED Education”. It seemed to marry two of my interests: TED Talks and Education. It led me to a YouTube animated video that answers the question, “Why are sloths so slow?”. I ended up showing it to my class during our science period. It’s good to know that I can always find something interesting to start or finish a period. Videos such as the ones offered on TED Education are a fun little reward for students to work toward, but yet they still centre around learning and education. The fact that they are geared toward children but still super informative is a win-win.
I enjoy the amount of information that is at my fingertips, and it does seem to be a really easy-to-use way of finding information. The drawback for me, however, is that it is a bit overwhelming as the options are limitless. I don’t think I would want to follow too many blogs, as it could get to be too much too fast. It’s kind of like my Netflix subscription. The longer I look through my movie options, and the more options I find, the less likely I am to settle on a movie and be happy. I work best with 2 or 3 options to choose from, rather than dozens.
I look forward to exploring and becoming more familiar with RSS in the coming weeks. For anyone looking for more information regarding RSS readers, or if you are still unsure of what they are, check out this site.