Monday, July 22, 2013

Feed Your Need: Using RSS to Simplify Your Life

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the internet?  There are so many news sites and blogs are emerging daily.  How do you remember which ones are worth a return trip?  How do you keep up without thumbing through website after website?  The solution is an RSS reader!  A year or so ago, I'm not sure I could have explained what an RSS reader does, but the concept is actually very simple.  Now I wouldn't want to work without RSS working for me!

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication.  In essence, it means the information YOU want is coming directly to you, rather than you having to go seek out the sources.  Think of it like shopping at Barnes and Noble vs. Amazon.  Rather than going out to the store, the store is coming to you!

Check out this quick video by WydeaWonders for the 4-1-1.

The first step in getting RSS to work for you is to select a reader.  In tomorrow's post, I'll feature three popular readers: Feedly, NewsSquares, and Symbaloo.  After deciding on your reader, you will be quickly on your way to managing your favorite blogs and using blogs to enrich your learning and the learning of your students.

Here are my top three reasons to love RSS readers:
  • Time is on your side.  It's as if you have a date with all these bloggers, but you never sit around waiting for your date to show up.  They are always at the door, and you can decide when you want to open the door and whom you want to go on a date with!  And if you want to ignore your blogs for awhile, they will never know but they will always be waiting for you!
  • Personalize for your interests.  An RSS reader allows you to find and follow the blogs and news sources of your choice.  I'm always on a quest to find the blogs that give the good stuff and I'll share some of my favorites in the next couple days. 
  • Stay in the loop without running around the Internet.  An RSS reader allows for one-stop shopping, which makes it easy to keep up with the latest ideas or share information with your students in a user-friendly way.
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