Melissa Giddins

Exploring technology and literacy in education.

RSS Feeds

As a beginner to the integration of technology, I was introduced to the idea of blogging, but it was only when I started really using Twitter that I was exposed to a great variety of educators who were blogging out there in the world. For a long time, I just waited until I received individual blog posts on twitter and then I went to that link and read the post. I found a few blogs that I wanted to read on a regular basis so I bookmarked their sites and checked them every now and then to see if they had written anything new.  A few times, I tried to work out this whole “RSS thing” but didn’t have the time to look into it and work out how to use it.

Silly me.

Let me tell you how to make life simple when it comes to blog posts. Firstly, an RSS feed is simply a notification to you when someone on a blog you follow publishes a new post (I am sure there is a much more technical explanation than that but it will do for the moment!).

Step 1: You need a reader – some place where all those rss feeds can go so you get the notification of a new post. Now Outlook will do it, but I wanted something web-based. I tried Google Reader and have never looked back.

Step 2: I googled “Google reader”, signed up for an account and then all I had to do was copy and paste in the URLs for the blogs I wanted to follow. Easy.

Step 3: Now I just visit Google reader on a daily basis and read the latest posts on my favourite blogs.

Being in love with my iPhone, I also got the Google Reader app and now happily sit reading the latest posts anywhere I happen to be 🙂 Like yesterday at the Car wash cafe!

Don’t do what I did and “worry about that bit later” – start with it, with the very first blog you read, and life will be much simpler.  A small warning though, when you first do this it will add all the current posts that you have not read, which can be a large number, depending on the amount of blogs you subscribe to, and this may feel a bit overwhelming at first. My advice is to take your time to work through them as eventually you will only receive a manageable number per day and if you make a few minutes each day to check the reader and read the latest posts you will discover that it is very easy to keep up.

The other question that I get asked by many teachers just starting their technological journey is about who to follow. One thing that I discovered early on, is that you only need a few blogs to get you started, as inevitably, the blog owners will refer to other blogs that they follow and then the number of blogs you read and follow will expand rapidly.  Who do I recommend to follow? That’s a whole other blog post! For now though, start with the links on my blogroll.


May 14, 2010 Posted by | blogging | , , | 1 Comment