Play #5 – Do you know what RSS stands for? Have you heard of it? If so, do you use it? How?
I set up my RSS Feeder on Google Reader last summer and have been slowly collecting blogs that I like to follow. Last count I had over 150 blogs in my reader. Usually what happens is when an author I like references another blogger I click on the hyperlink to the new blog and paste the URL into my reader. As I start to accumulate more blogs I categorize them into different folders (i.e. educational tech, teacher blogs, pedagogy, other, etc) to make for more manageable reading.
At first I use to get stressed out about not being able to keep up with all of the posts coming through my reader; however, I am slowly learning that the important ideas keep circulating around so when I begin to see a topic mentioned a number of times by different bloggers I start to take more notice.
Completing this task helped me realize that keeping up with my RSS feeder requires a new type of literacy skill, namely, skimming items quickly and being able to process a lot of news items in a relatively short time span.
As and educator, developing a RSS reading habit is an excellent way of keeping informed of current trends and topics in education and provides a forum for you to participate in the conversations. I would encourage all teachers, especially new teachers, to subscribe to a RSS feeder because it is an important and easy step, in developing your personal learning network and becoming part of an online community.