Wednesday, February 18, 2009

RSS Feed: What Good Is It For Kids?

Live and learn left this comment on another post--I'll answer as best I can.
This must be a dumb question. WHY exactly do I want an RSS feed? What will my fourth students gain from it? Do you assign specific assignments based on the feed or is it just more info to expose them to? If you have time, this would be a great blog post for us newbies. If not, I understand!


RSS stands for "Rich Site Summary" or "Really Simple Syndication" and it is a format for bringing ever-changing news INTO you so you don't have to go OUT and look for it. It's especially helpful if you read a lot of blogs, instead of having to type in a URL or click an address from your favorites or go to your Delicious account, new posts from bloggers you read come INTO you on a "feed reader" (I use Bloglines) --you don't have to go OUT to find them. New feed comes in everyday. Here are the feeds we have coming into our blog.

So what does this do for kids? It can bring SAFE, up-to-date content into your feed reader, blog or website for your students to look at. The only reason I use it on my students' blog is so they can see some "news" or "interesting info" without having to waste the time searching for it. It's on the blog as possible prompts to encourage writing. Does every classroom need it? Hmmm--it you want to have control of what comes into your classroom via the internet then it's a great add. Let me know if I didn't explain that well enough and I'll try again.

PS Be sure to study the site before adding to your kids' reader--giving a kid access to it. News, like Newsweek, Time,New York Times, etc. sights might seem like a good idea but you have to deal with rapists, murders, carjacking, etc along with politics, weather and sports.

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