I don’t know about you but I feel like I’m getting sucked into the never ending vortex of information. Between keeping in touch with friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, multiple email accounts and different chat programs. I feel like my time is getting squeezed out of me. On top of all the communicating and connecting, I am trying to stay up to date with news, information, and blogs. I’m slowly figuring out how to balance my time and know that I can’t possibly read everything and listen to every podcast that comes out. There is a finite amount of time out there so we need to learn how to use our time more efficiently.
This definitely applies to information. As educators, we need to be able to get the information that we need and that’s most relevant to us. We also need to be teaching these skills to our students.
One answer is to use RSS readers. The term “RSS” (Really Simple Syndication) is really just a simplified text feed of a web page. Most web pages have RSS feeds so that you can get the information that is published on the web page. By using an RSS reader, you can subscribe to multiple feeds from all your favorite web sites in one place.
So instead of going to multiple web sites to read all your information, you go to your RSS reader page and see everything on one page. It is automatically updated and shows you what you have read and haven’t read.Think about how much time you spend, typing in addresses, opening tabs, waiting for pages to load. With an RSS reader, you skip all this. Of course, there are times when you do want to go to the page to see graphics or read the full article. However, you can filter this information and the information in personalized to your interest.
Still confused? Ok, here is a quick video from Common Craft explaining it in more detail: Common Craft-RSS Readers
Personally, I use Netvibes as my RSS reader. This is just a personal preference. I like the visual appearance of it.