RSS with Digg Reader

I’m not going to lie…I’m a bit nervous about writing my first blog post! I hope I don’t embarrass myself. I am ‘kind of’ decent when it comes to technology, but I am NO expert. That’s part of the reason I joined the AIS-R cohort of COETAIL. I want to learn more about technology, specifically how I can better incorporate it into my classroom practice.

Honestly, I am already amazed at what I am learning. This week, after reading chapters 1 and 2 of Reach by Jeff Utecht, I signed up for an account with an RSS reader called Digg Reader. Before this week, I didn’t even know that such a thing existed! RSS what?

A screenshot of my notes from this week’s readings

Surprisingly, RSS is actually pretty simple and very smart. An RSS reader basically collects updates from websites of your choosing and puts them in one place. No more visiting that same website over and over again to see what’s new. An RSS reader does that for you. The following YouTube video is a bit outdated, but it gives a clear and simple explanation of RSS.

YouTube Preview Image

I like Digg Reader because it has an easy-to-read format, unread posts stay bolded, and it just looks organized. For each new post coming into the reader, it shows where the post came from, the title of the post, and the time of that post. Digg reader allows me to easily keep up with websites that I regularly visit. I just downloaded the app to my Android phone, and I am pretty sure I’m addicted!

I can see so many practical applications for using an RSS reader in my personal and professional life and especially for Course 1 of COETAIL, but I am having a difficult time figuring out if it could serve a purpose in my classroom. I teach high school science – grade 9 integrated science and grade 11 and 12 IB chemistry. Could my students benefit from such a tool in their learning of science?

Has anyone ever used an RSS reader with their students? If so, how did you do it? If not, do you see any practical ways of implementing it into your classroom? I warmly welcome your comments below.

3 thoughts on “RSS with Digg Reader

  1. The screen shot of your notes is hilarious. I had the exact same response! Because I expect my students to post their response to reading on blogs, Digg is the answer to my long standing question, “How will I know when students are posting to their blog?”

  2. So glad to read that you’re already learning heaps! A very warm welcome to the CoETaIL programme Pamela – no need to be nervous – we’re a very supportive and friendly crew here!
    I would be lost without RSS – (although I am still mourning the loss of Google Reader), Feedly is my go to for organising all the RSS feeds I need. I used Netvibes with my Grade 5 students – the concept of having an RSS reader for students is awesome – great timesaver, clean and concise – although Netvibes was quite clunky for us (mainly too slow), I think it’s improved vastly over the last few years.

  3. As mentioned before, an RSS feed can help students in the same way it helps us – you knew when there is a new post and you don’t have to remember to go check particular blogs. If students are commenting on other student blogs they can find the new posts in their feed. If there are any blogs you would like them to follow (or better yet, a list of blogs they find and share themselves, perhaps on a Google Doc) they can add those to their feed and have content come straight to them, all in one place.

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