Chapters 5 & 6 – RSS and Social Bookmarking

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Richardson notes that the amount of information that we are presented with on a daily basis can be overwhelming.  With so many blogs, news outlets, and other websites out there, it can be time consuming to stay up to date with the latest information on topics that interest you.  Using an RSS feed can help you keep track of what’s new, as well as keep all those interests organized without you getting lost in the depths of the internet. 

RSS can also be useful in the classroom.  I thought one interesting point that Richardson raised was the use of an RSS feed to keep track of student blogs.  Rather than searching out 20 or 30 different blogs, the RSS feeds let you know which ones have new posts.  I also think creating collaborative feeds that you share with students helps them to find sites or blogs that they may not have found on their own.

Another interesting idea is social bookmarking.  I think having a site where you can collect bookmarks and share them with others has a lot of potential.  Using a site like Delicious, you can keep track of sites, see sites that other people have shared (that you might otherwise have missed), and share your sites.  I think it is also a great way for students to share their information with the rest of the class.

While I do think that both RSS and social bookmarking could be useful in the classroom, I do think they could have drawback.  With both of them, there is the issue of quality vs quantity.  While it is important to have a solid understanding of a topic, and to see it from multiple perspectives, finding that information shouldn’t work to the detriment of student understanding.  I also think that with both RSS and social bookmarking, you run the risk of becoming overwhelmed by the feeds and new content.  From personal experience, I quickly found myself overwhelmed by some of my feeds, especially if I missed a day of checking them.  It could be difficult for students to stay caught up on their feeds and not feel bogged down by all the information rushing at them.

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3 thoughts on “Chapters 5 & 6 – RSS and Social Bookmarking

  1. Abby Lenneberg

    I felt a little overwhelmed when I read the section about social bookmarking. While I understand the big idea, I couldn’t help but think that using multiple tags and sharing multiple links may make us even more overwhelmed.

    The idea of RSS feeds are interesting. I think it is a great way to quickly scan favorite sites, but as you mentioned they need to monitored closely and frequently or you can fall behind. If a teacher decides to use blogs in their classtoom, RSS feeds can be a great way to keep track of their students blogs.

    RSS seem to be a great way to keep your personal information sorted and organized, but how well do you think it would work as a collaborative class effort? It seems like it may get overloaded or bogged down.

    • I think it could work in a collaborative classroom environment, but it would have to be very carefully monitored and sorted. I think letting students go and add information to the class RSS feed could result in too much confusion. It may be easier if students submit their selections to the teacher, then the teacher can add, eliminating any duplicate sites as well as keeping the class feed manageable.

  2. Steve

    While your point about the potential overload of information is important, you do have the power to filter the content so that you can narrow it down to what you need and what you can handle. It does take some time to set up, which I think detracts many from using these tools, but the ability to use others’ work to improve your own is attractive.

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