This week I learned that RSS was one of the biggest gaps which I had in my knowledge and skill set. I was vaguely aware of what RSS was when we began but had never used it and did not consider it something I could use with my pupils. Once again, this course has led me to re-evaluate my preconceived ideas about an aspect of technology.
I knew that RSS involved the feeding of information directly to me from different sources but did not know how it worked and had never tried using it professionally or personally. I followed the instructions we were given, reading up on the topic and quickly set up an account on Feedly for this course and another one on Flipboard for my personal interest. I wanted to try two different services so that I could compare their differences and effectiveness. Both were easy to set up and very intuitive.
I have enjoyed using Twitter as a source of professional development for about a year now but one of my biggest frustrations has been how much information there is. There is no real selection process and as a result I can sometimes feel overloaded with information. That is where I see one of the main benefits of RSS. It can enable me to be more selective about the sources I choose to ‘feed’ me information. I have been reading all week and have enjoyed the blog posts from my classmates – using RSS has made their work more accessible and easier to find.
In planning a lesson, I decided that two things were important to me. Firstly, that I planned a lesson which I could actually teach to my 5th grade class and secondly, that the lesson would be about using RSS. I am a big believer that if I can use the technology then my pupils can as well. Therefore, I have planned a lesson that I will teach and which will fit into our current curriculum. Each pupil will be able to sign into Feedly using their Evernote account and will learn about RSS and how to use it to help them collate information from sources which have been approved. (Because of their age and school policies, prescreened websites will be provided for them to select from)
Essentially they will be learning the same as I did. I am pretty confident that none of them currently use RSS feeds so the topic will be new. In my lesson plan there are links to documents which I have started but will populate with content over the next two weeks. I am excited to share this with my pupils and look forward to finding out if it works like I think it will. I hope so.