Understanding RSS Better:

RSS, enables users to pick and choose which data sources are of interest and remain educated and informed when sources are updated i.e newspaper http://bbc.co.uk), encylopedia (http://wikipedia.org), educational website (http://www.flexiblelearning.net.au/).

Blogs, Wikis and many contemporary websites publish their content in the RSS file format. For example go to http://bbc.co.uk and look for the orange RSS symbol, click on it, you’ll find useful instructions on RSS. . http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/help/3223484.stm#whatisrss

In the context of education it can be used to:
  • Manage information overload by being able subscribe to chunks of information
  • Share a variety of online content dynamically i.e. photos, audio (podcasts), content (ie. blog posts) with others
  • Inform, track and keep up to date with your colleagues AND students and what they are doing online

RSS symbols

The orange RSS symbol represents what is known as an RSS feed, which simply means content from the BBC website can be pushed directly to you without you having to visit the website. First you need a tool to be able to subscribe right? This is known as a newsreader, aggregator. Once you choose your newsreader of choice and create an account ( I use http://bloglines.com) you can pull in data in.

News readers

http://www.newsonfeeds.com/faq/aggregators Explanatory drawing.

Data can be video, audio, text. What this means is that teachers and students can subscribe to useful educational data relevant to their education context.

Screencast: Using RSS to manage the flow of useful information and remain up to date

Screencast on subscribing to RSS feeds (http://wikispaces.com discussion) using a newsreader (http://bloglines.com).

Recommend setting newreader as home page so when you first log on in the mornig you get an instant update of change to the info you love...


You may be interested in an elluminate session I did for people new to the concepts of web2.0 RSS and networked learning, who just want to know where to get started.

'From a beginner's perspective this presentation will explain what RSS is, how it works , and provide practical examples of how RSS can be used in your working and personal life, providing context for setting up your own online identity and networking with others.'

It also provides context on some starter tools and tips when setting up your Personal Learning Environment (PLE)...

Please excuse the poor audio quality.


Please excuse the poor quality of the audio.


Using Bloglines to subscribe to podcasts and webfeeds (Leigh Blackall)

Webfeeds are the plumbing that makes the Internet flow in my view. Here is a brief demo of how to set up and use Bloglines to tap into that flow.


Recommended Links

Clear explanation of what RSS is
Connected learning community RSS info
Papers on use of RSS in education
Standard icon for RSS feeds
Del.icio.us links TAGS rss education