Sunday, August 16, 2009
Can’t keep up?? Get yourself an RSS Aggregator!
RSS or Really Simple Syndication is a great way to stalk... I mean keep up to date with sites that have an “RSS Feed”. After setting up a Google Reader I was able to follow news sites and other blogs without chasing up each page individually. “Google Reader is a Web-based aggregator, capable of reading Atom and RSS feeds online or offline” (Wikipedia. 2009). For those of you that speak “Facebook” will understand it when I say you can get a news feed of all of your friends’ activity, is the same as Google Reader showing all of the updates of your favourite sites.
Google Reader is a great way to stay connected in this fast paced world. Time is precious and technology is changing and defining our thinking (Siemens, 2004). Google reader not only allows us to be engaged in our learning activities but enables us to interact with others (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999). Siemens (2004) goes on to say that a significant trend in learning is technology and that it is altering (or rewiring) our brains.
With this in mind, our teaching tools should continually include technology. Google Reader in the classroom could be used for teachers to keep track of their students’ progress, used for students to track their peers and information sites or for parents to stay informed on what the class and their child is up to.
During term one, I had a year 7 class and the unit was “Sharing the Wealth” where students invested $50 (pretend) into the Australian Stock Market. Students were bi-weekly looking up web addresses and looking for stock prices for their assignments. I believe the students’ time could have been more effective if they had an RSS Aggregator set up to monitor changes on topic-specific sites. It would allow them to organize and streamline the large quantity of content on the web.
As an Early Childhood Major I am continually seeking ways of incorporating these types of technologies with the younger ones and think the choices of technologies deserves some extra attention. I see this particular tool (RSS), not for the younger children to use directly but as an informant; a great way to stay in touch with relevant information in the field and educating parents to stay tuned for updates.
Til next time,
Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory:. Retrieved August 15th, 2009, from http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm
Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrieved August 15th, 2009, from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivesm.htm
Wikipedia. (2009). Google Reader. Retrieved August 15th, 2009, from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Reader