Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Week 4 - RSS and Aggregators

Week 4 is going to introduce you to the concept of RSS feeds and aggregators. Don't you just love all of the crazy terms you are learning as we explore these online tools? Diigo, RSS, Aggregators - sounds like a foreign language. :)

Thing 8 - Learn about RSS

RSS is basically a special type of computer code that lets users know when new content is added to their favorite websites. It's called an RSS feed because you are basically being fed information instead of having to go out on your own and find the new information. The new content comes to you in a special program called an aggregator, or feed reader. The feed reader we will be using is Feedly

Here is a short video clip that does a great job of explaining the concept of an RSS feed. It will mention using Google Reader as your aggregator/feed reader, but Google Reader no longer exists. Feedly functions very much like Google Reader. 

Thing 9 - Add feeds to your reader

Now it's time for you to set up your own Feedly account. Watch the following video to learn how to add sites to your aggregator and how to read the feeds once you subscribe. When you do sign up for your Feedly account, you will be using your Google account information (the same info you use for your blogger blog - should be your school email address and whatever password you use).

Your task is to add the feeds of all of your classmates' blogs and our 21 Things blog to your reader. Remember, you can find their blog addresses on the sidebar of our course blog. Now you won't have to visit each site to see if your colleagues have posted new content. The content will come to you! I encourage you to keep posting comments on each others' blogs so that you are able to share thoughts and ideas. 

Your final task is to write a post on your blog sharing your thoughts and experiences with RSS and Feedly. Specifically think about how this can benefit you as a teacher.

For the over-achiever ;)

Add the feed of the blog you shared with the group during Week 2. You might add the feeds of other blogs shared by your colleagues that you found interesting. Challenge yourself even more by searching for new blogs of interest. If you find a blog you like, add the site to your reader. :) If you find something you think the group would like, be sure to share the site address with everyone by adding a comment to this post.

Here's a checklist of this week's required tasks:

Thing 8:
  • Watch the video RSS in Plain English

Thing 9:
  • Watch the video How to Use Feedly
  • Set up your Feedly account
  • Add all of your classmates blogs to your reader
  • Add the 21 Things course blog to your reader
  • Write a post on your blog sharing your reflections on RSS and Google Reader and how it can benefit you as a teacher.

Optional tasks:
  • Add the blog you posted about in Week 2 to your reader
  • Search for new feeds and add them to your reader - share those feeds with the group by posting a comment on this week's blog post


  1. So when would I use Diigo if Feedly keeps me up to date? Diigo for websites and Feedly just for blogs? Does Feedly keep regular website updates also? Just trying to organize it all in my brain since I am getting so many different accounts for internet organization. LOL

  2. Diigo is a bookmarking site. It stores the addresses of sites you like to use. It does not let you know when new content is added to a site. Feedly is a feed reader. It reads special code from blogs and news feeds and lets you know when new content is added to those sites, and it lets you read that content in one location instead of having to visit each individual blog that you read. Diigo is where you bookmark websites you like, Feedly is where you subscribe to blogs that you like to read. Does that help clarify?

  3. My favorite tech blogs are: http://www.twoguysandsomeipads.com , www.kleinspiration.com , http://www.lorislatestlinks.com , http://www.techchef4u.com/blog , and http://www.technologytailgate.com/

  4. Yes, thanks Cindy. It seems I use blogs more than websites lately so all I've been saving on Diigo were blogs. I'll make that switch now. Love that feedly will have all my favorite blogs in 1 spot!

  5. Another site I added to my Feedly is
    It has lots of great classroom strategies.