Tuesday, December 06, 2005

RSS - Your Thoughts?

So, after that scintillating presentation about RSS, what are your thoughts? Do you see how you could use this in your classroom or as a resource as a teacher? Please comment and share some of your thoughts - including any specific ideas of ways to use it in the classroom (if you've thought of any).

20 comments:

  1. I like the idea with Bloglines of being able to access all of my websites in one area and stay up to date with the postings. I am interested to hear from others of how they can use this with their classes. I am having difficulty thinking in terms of my classes where this can be implemented other than their research papers during their freshman year. Any ideas out there?

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  2. After the somewhat amazing presentation on RSS feeds, I think that it is going to be a lot easier to use this as a teacher and a lot harder to figure out how to get you kids to use it. I know that they can figure out how to use it, but my question is how to make it help them form connections to material? I know that they can use it to gather information on a topic that interests them but what after that? Like Anne, I would like to hear ideas other than research. I guess that you could use the bloglines website to help the students keep track of other blogs that they are part of. Outside of that I too am stuck.

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  3. I really think that RSS is a great tool to use as an educator. Students could each have their own weblog that they would have to post a response to a question on your weblog. Now when that student posts on their site, it will automatically come up as new on the RSS. I also think that it is a great tool to keeping material current and interesting in the classroom by incorporating current topics without having to do a lot of "leg" work tracking down the information.

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  4. Ahhh, Grasshopper(s). Does not the spider have to spend hours weaving his web before he can sit back and wait for the prey to come to him? You will need to invest some time searching for and learning about RSS before you can attempt to answer those questions. Thus, the assignment for next time to find and subscribe to at least one RSS feed and then be prepared to share with the class. As the result of investigating RSS feeds, I believe you will find your own answers. Now, pardon me while I go wax my head. Wax on. Wax off.

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  5. I'm guessing that more and more teachers will be using class blogs in the very near future, which means that students may be responsible for reading and responding to numerous blogs on a frequent basis. RSS will hopefully help keep students organized and minimize technological confusion. Reading back over this, I realize that I might be Captain Obvious here. Sorry.

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  6. I thought that this resource could be essential to my current event class. The students research a controversial topic for 12 weeks by submitting an article summary on their topic. They then present this info ( the history, different sides, and their opinion)to the class. What I have found (esp. for the freshman) is that they do not know where look or how to find a credible source. They just like to type in the name into google and pick the first article they see. I think this resource would be a great tool- having 2-3 sites that feed articles on their topic. I would have to learn more to show this to my students. The other thing is that I am not teaching this second semester so I can not try this out- but i will pass on the info to the person who is.

    The other thing that I took away from this presentation, is while i think is amazing and resourcesful to have this information come to us so easily and quickly, does this take away from the concept of researching. Maybe I'm just overlooking something, but one thing I loved about doing historical research in college was going out and finding the information. (i was that nerd in the library) I see the benefit that its right at our fingertips and we do have to learn how to filter through the info, it just makes me wonder if the need for books and libraries are going away.
    I also heard today that the number of newspaper subscriptions are decreasing and as a result distributors are loosing their jobs, I found this interesting and wondered if this has anything to do with the new technology.

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  7. Alison, I thought about this too. (The research idea.) I think that RSS is just another tool for research. It will work well in some situations and in addition to "traditional" research. It seems to be another research tool not a replacement.

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  8. I cannot count how many hours I have spent trying to find different things on the internet to use in my classroom. I am excited to have some of these things some to me. I just need to play with how to refine my searches to find the most useful information for each subject area. I think this could be a huge resource to all teachers.

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  9. Let's say ditto to the great suggestions that everyone has made so far about ways to effectively use RSS as teachers and with students.

    One additional tool I think RSS can be great for in Science is for current events and real world applications. In the two days that I have been signed up to receive Science feeds from the New York Times, I have already been sent about 10 articles that are actually interesting. (Do I sound like a student or what!) It would be awesome to 1) teach kids how to use RSS since it is obviously here to stay, and 2) use it throughout the curriculum and have kids bring up/discuss articles they have found that apply to what we are currently discussing in class.

    And, I need a little help from an English teacher about the whole spider/grasshopper analogy...what exactly does that mean Mr. Fisch? If you are the spider, I would agree that you've got quite a good web started...but are you planning on devouring us for your next meal? :)

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  10. Sorry, Cara, I forget how old I'm getting - I'm used to being one of the youngest in any group I'm in. The "Grasshopper" reference is to the TV show Kung Fu from the mid 1970's. David Carradine played a character that was trained as a monk - along with some martial arts. The show flashed back to when he was young and was being trained by a mentor that called him "Grasshopper" and always spoke in aphorisms - hence the spider and web attempted analogy. In honor of the original post, you can also find out more about Kung Fu cinema in general by - you guessed it - subscribing to this RSS Feed.

    I'm hopeful that you got the other reference. "Wax on. Wax Off." was a reference to Karate Kid.

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  11. It will take a while for me to understand exactly how I can use RSS in the classroom. I have signed for many different feeds and have been very interested in the NYT Science Feed. I can see my students using that feed to keep up on current events.

    It is also a great way to keep track of other teachers blogs and the comments that are posted on them.

    I would love the opportunity to see how others may be using it in their classroom.

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  12. So I am still waiting for my colleagues to help me finding some connections to the loverly world of English. I can see the use for my students when they are doing their Freshman research/persuasive essay, but I am having trouble going beyond that. S.O.S.

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  13. Anne - can you give me a list of "essential learnings" in one or two of your preps, and I'll see what I can dig up.

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  14. I am also still trying to figure out how I could use this beyond the freshman persuasive essay. I agree with Brian that it looks easier to do for our own purpose. Witht he kids, this may pose some questions. But, I like that I can use RSS for my own benefit for whatever topic interests me and that I can view all of the blogs in the same area. I am anally organized and efficiency is key for me. I would love to teach students how to do this as well, but it's a matter of content and how.. Again, it is just going to take some time. But, I also need some feedback on what I could do with it. I need to play around and explore more; but it truly intrigues me.

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  15. Boy, it would be easy to repeat what other people are saying on this, but I will try not to. I was thinking for my World Civilizations classes that I could create RSS feeds related to current events for the various regions, so that I can find more ways to tie history to the present day. It is still something I would do on my own computer, but I could check it first thing in the morning, and maybe find something to talk to my classes about that day.

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  16. This seems very useful. I can see it being even more valuable in a class like government than in some other history classes. In government there is so much happening with current events that could be applied to the course.

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  17. I think that RSS will be useful in classes like Western Civ because I always like to bring in current events related to the areas that we are studying. For example, this year when we were learning about Roman road construction I happened across an article about new excavations on an old Roman highway. The article had lots of historical information about Roman roads that I had not found elsewhere, and it was nice to share with the students because they could see a current connection to the Romans.

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  18. Karl, I barely remember Kung Fu but Karate Kid seems like just yesterday. In fact Mr. Miagee (no idea how to spell that) just died last week...Anyway, I was excited to hear about RSS and the possibilities of it. When I go and do a search on the internet for something, I end up spending an hour not finding exactly what I was looking for. I think this will make things so much easier! I was trying to explain how this works to someone and had a hard time doing it in simple terms. Any definitions out there?

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  19. Sometimes, I have a hard time seeing what I am looking for. That sounds like trees in a forest.....

    I never even thought of current events. (Is that what RSS was designed for?)

    Yet another time when I am thankful for this group.

    If you are trying to explain RSS to someone, it is a tool for the gathering of publications into one place.

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  20. Before I hopped on the blog, I was reworking next semester's AP Government and Law ideas. RSS seems very useful for both...in moderation. As some have suggested, it is very easy to spend just a few minutes to create very useful connections. However, at times it is too easy. I found that I kept anting to add and the result might have been overwhelming...much like the number of links Karl created for 20th Century US History. If not given a limiting focus, it might become useless rather than useful for student s who are as crunched for time as we are.

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