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Monday, February 6, 2012

RSS Feed Part Two

Well, it's been a few weeks using the RSS feed and I have changed the settings quite a bit.  One of the things I noticed when I first started it was that if I selected the RSS subscribe on some articles I found interesting, I would then get articles from that site that often had nothing to do with the original article I liked.  I found that for certain sites I had to subscribe to categories so that I wouldn't get ever article they posted about random targets. After the first few days I noticed it was easier to navigate and that my feed was more topic appropriate to what I was looking for.

What I eventually started doing was "starring" articles that I enjoyed or that I found interesting enough in the paragraph summary to want to save to read later (or to even share with others).  Google reader probably wasn't the best choice for me as far as filtering topics but since I already used iGoogle for my Gmail, twitter, blog, facebook, etc. it seemed to be the easiest for me to add to my routine.  I noticed that there seemed to be a common theme on many of the EdTech sites based on current events so it was interesting to sometimes get different perspectives on things. 

I was able to get a lot of interesting information for my SIG group which I then added to my delicious account. It helped in the research aspect of things to have have to do "google searches" with varying phrases and keywords. 

This last week especially it seemed everyone had something to say about the superbowl (and though I'm not exactly sure what that had to do with some of the websites I subscribed to, I suppose it can draw in the reader if it appeals to multiple interests they may have).

I ended up removing some of the subscribed sites when I felt their content was below my standards or just not as up to date and I had hoped. The NPR education feed had some very interesting articles about the drop out rate and school lunches but I was hoping to find more technology related articles that never came so I went back to NPR and subscribed to their technology feed.

One thing I did like about the Google reader and I don't know if other RSS feed organizers do this but it pulled old articles from sites as well.  There was some great articles from one and two years ago that I might not have otherwise came across if not for the feed.  I tried to read a few really old articles each day as well. 

Some feeds I rarely starred anything and some feeds I seemed to star quite often.  It became a habit to look  at certain feeds first each day because I knew they had more useful information than others -at least for my interests.  I found that the articles or posts most interesting to me were ones from actual instructional designers or teachers utilizing innovative technology in their classrooms.

If I keep this up a few more weeks I can see that this will be a great habit for me to have to stay up to date on the quickly changing world of educational technology and I feel much less overwhelmed receiving the information than I did at the beginning of this assignment.  This is a great tool for anyone, no matter what your topic, career, or goals.

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