Wednesday, September 28, 2011

No Unread Items

So a little about my newest obsession (can it be an obsession if I have only been using it for a mere 12 hours?). Thank you IST 611. I never really understood what an RSS reader could do for me… Every morning I check my blogs. They might have new posts, they might not, but off I went, going through all my bookmarks, one by one. Young House Love – check. Heir To Blair – check. Dooce – check. You don’t even want to know how long that list is.

Enter Google Reader. Oh – hey, that’s convenient!

So we were posed a question regarding my new found love – is RSS here for the long run, or dying on the vine? I have seen a lot of talk about people just turning to Twitter to gather the information that an RSS reader used to provide them. I don’t think that RSS is dying all together, but that users just have multiple ways to do essentially the same thing – it all boils down to personal preference. One major difference I can see is that with Twitter, it’s more “real-time” for me (when I do use it!). Something that is tweeted, say, even 2 hours ago, I might never read. With Google Reader, any content I have missed, no matter how long it’s been there, you can almost bet I am still going to read it.

Another concept to ponder is the one of blogging – is it a useful and effective tool in the classroom? The short answer – YES! Teacher blogs provide a way to communicate with students, teachers, the administration and the school community. It can be simply posting homework assignments, or a write up about what’s going on in the classroom. It allows for students and teachers to comment, asking questions and getting clarification. Classroom blogs have the potential make students more engaged. Just as Kim Sivick (Coordinator of Lower School Technology, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy) spoke about in her presentation from the 140 Character Conference, those students literally were jumping for joy when receiving comments on their blog. They were able to find a voice, and were recognized for that voice. It’s exciting stuff – exciting stuff that I am finally getting a grasp on.


  1. Denice, so glad to hear you are enjoying this journey. Blog looks great but I would like to see your name somewhere other than just your email on each post. Looking forward to reading others' comments from 611!

  2. Great point about the RSS v. Twitter issue- I for one am not an RSS fan. It just doesn't do it for me- I rely on Facebook, Twitter and Blog Rolls to get my updates. You're right though- these have always worked for me because I have always worked sitting at a computer- I have Tweet Deck running all the time so new tweets pop up in the corner of my screen- if it looks interesting I check it out. Same with Facebook (although new Facebook is throwing me off...). This might all change when I start working in a library and I know longer have 24/7 access to these outlets- scanning backwards through my twitter feed and wall will probably get old really fast and an RSS feed might prove to be more appropriate for what I need. Great post!

  3. Yeah, that 140 video was really cute when she showed the video that her students made by themselves! What did that last kid say..."this was the most fun project in 4th grade!" They were saying that their class project was FUN, and that is saying something! Now that I've spent a while making my blog on, and hearing all the great things about blogging, I am becoming more and more excited about using blogs as educational tools in the classroom/library.

  4. I like how everyone pretty much agrees that blogs are wonderful for the classroom. I am also so glad there are blog sites specifically designed for educational institutions. I feel it is only a matter of time before everyone starts using them in the classroom.

    (As for new Facebook, yeah...I feel they really need to not change it so much...)

  5. I absolutely agree that blogging is great for teaching. I've been requiring my students to blog (in my case, within our course Blackboards) for a long time. I especially like blogs for teaching Film Studies. Since we show all of our films in class, it can be hard to carve out enough time for discussion. With a class blog, I can create a virtual classroom. My students can post on an assigned topic before the next class, and I can read their posts to refer to in class when we do discuss. Also, blogs allow us to insert images, videos, etc. Very useful!

    Glad you've found a new love!

  6. Dr. Arnone - Name has been added! Thanks!

    Kate- You will find that yes, not sitting at a computer all day will definately hinder that constant ability to check updates. I am not (yet!) and avid enough Twitter user to have it be as effective effective as Google Reader. Scrolling through old Tweets = not fun (and they just seem like "old news" to me).

  7. Denice, what a good conversation you started!