Information growth shows little sign of abating. While the current flow exceeds our ability to cope, the solution will not be found in changing the amount of information. It will rest instead in the use of networks to filter information, development of new tools to cope, reliance on software to offload "grunt cognition", and the use of information visualization tools to allow us to interact with patterns of information, rather than information pieces themselves.--George Siemens

Using RSS Feeds and Making the Web "Work" for You

The definition of RSS likens it to a newspaper being delivered to your doorstep, except that the newspaper is now content from the internet. That content can be in the form of internet sites, news, videos, pictures, or search results. This has the potential to change the way we use the internet. Now it can be seen as the world's largest database, customized however you want it to be.

Before you extend this idea to your classroom, play around with it on your own so you can see the potential of what some educators are calling "the Killer Application." Here is a Short Video explaining how RSS feeds work.

Setting Up our Google Reader Accounts

We are going to use Google Reader to track the RSS feeds for tags. So we must first set up our Google Reader Accounts. Let's do this by following these steps.

  1. Direct your browser to Google.Once there, you will notice a "Sign in" google2.jpglink in the upper right hand corner.Click that.Now Google is asking you to sign into your account. If you already have an account, fill in your emailgoogle3.jpg address and password. If not, then click on "Create an account now" at the bottom of the page.Once you do that, it follows like most other account sign-up sites.
  2. Fill in the necessary information and you will be directed to a page that is the home base for your account. google4.jpg

3. Your page will list your services, of which you might not have many at this point. We need to go down to the section of the page that says "Try Something New"google6.jpgand click on "more."
4. This takes you to all of Google's services (which are really cool). Once there, look for a link that says "Google Labs"google7.jpgThere, you will look for a link under "Graduates of Labs" called "Reader."google8.jpg

At this point, you can use this video to show you how to set up your Google Reader Account by adding feeds,

or follow along below.

6. Go to the New York Times and look for this symbol at the bottom of the page
and when you find it, click on it. It will take you to a page where the entire newspaper is broken down into manageable parts. Find a section of the newspaper and head back to Google Reader.
7. Go to your Reader page and click "Add subscription"
and paste the URL from into the space under "Add subscription."
8. Click "Add."
9. You will now see all the recent uses of this tag displayed in your reader.

Now, let's go find some feeds! Remember to look for this symbol:

List of Teacher and Educator Blogs:
Weblogs in Education
Google Reader Guide