Frankie will do induction

At the beginning I'll be going through some new concepts so if anybody feels they've lost the thread don't worry I'll stop and answer any questions.
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Privately email cofacilitator any questions I may have missed.
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Hi Steven Parker here, in this session we'll go through RSS from a beginner's perspective. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. this presentation will explain what RSS is, how it works , and provide practical examples of how it can be used in your working and personal life. I'll also provide context for setting up your own online identity and networking with students and colleagues. By the end of the session you will know how RSS is acrucial to delivering open content from the internet for teaching and learning online.




RSS (Really Simple Syndication)

Why RSS is important
How to use RSS
What RSS is
Examples of using RSS to:
Push and pull online content i.e videos wepages, photos
Network with students and colleagues

Before we start I'd like to focus on the idea of being open. There are many type of educational media we can quickly and easily create and publish openly on the internet video audio video animation using a growing number of free technologies. We are moving into an era whereby teachers will failitate students using technology to create and share their own resources, achieve their learning outcomes and attain and act on knowledge at a given point off time as part of their personal learning network. We are all now able to easily Create - Share - Consume - Adapt content and across the internet openly.Before we start I'd like to share a video which gets this concept across


Put in screenshot of Flickr Delicious

Screenshot of mulitmedia wiki
Screenshot of Web2.0 logos

Describe these technologies and point out RSS symbol

I use flickr for sharing photos I like For sharing websites I like
Blogger for sharing Web-page content, notice the orange symbol this us the standard symbol for rss i'll go into more detail on that later but this means we can push this content out to be pulled into another website a news reader or aggregator. I'll give an example of this in a moment, lif we go back to Flickr and delicious you will notice this symbol as well.


So the question is how to sift and manage this vast amount of meida freely available on the internet to utilise in the classroom? How do we keep updated on the people who are publishing stuff we like stuff in day to life, how do we keep updated on stuff that is useful for your students and you as a techer.


Thats where RSS comes in.

Put RSS grphic
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is featured on many of today's websites and is the key to being able to manage, 'push' and 'pull' content What content do we want to push here are a few examples:

If you publish a blog, flickr photographs or you publish a RSSfeed. A feed is the format that allows your content to be delivered, 'Pushed' (and subscribed to by other) Pulled from the Web. My Blog Flikr and del.icious accounts all have feeds based on the RSS file format so I know that other can subcribe and keep up to date with what I am doing. How do I know where there is an RSS feed? I look for the orange symbol.

What do we use for subcibing to my content that I am publishing and pushing out onto the open internet. We use a news reader or feed reader aggregator as mentioned before to pull or subribe to the blogger content flickr photos or del.icious.webpages.

Put RSS graphic in


A news reader is a tool for aggregating RSS feeds from multiple sources and displaying them in one place so we can pull my photos my weblinks and blog posts into ONE spot.

By being able to subscribe to and read the latest posts in an "aggregator" or "feed reader" RSS feeds make it easy to keep up with multiple information and news sources and blogs without having to visit each site individually, i'll show an example

Put in RSS graphc on newsreaders

The feed reader I use is bloglines. I'll show you how it works.

Rember to show blog atom feed, discuss machine language to be read by feed reader news aggregator.

Show example and other folders including update. Close down webshare and go back to slide.


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

So with RSS it's really easy to not only publish regular updates to web-based content, but also keep track of a large number of your favorite Web sites or blogs, without having to remember to check each site manually or clutter your email Inbox. You can now streamline your online experience by subscribing to specific content feeds and aggregating this information in one place to be read when you're ready.

Most of the biggest names on the web offer content feeds or RSS feeds including, BBC News Headlines, ABCNews, CNET, Yahoo!, (including a podcast!), and many more. In addition, hundreds of thousands of bloggers, podcasters and videobloggers publish feeds to keep themselves better connected to their readers/listeners/admirers/critics. Apple, through its iTunes Music Store, offers tens of thousands of audio and video podcasts for download, each of which is powered by a feed.


Another type of news aggregator is the personal start page. A personal start page

Screenshot of my personal start page with link.

By using 'Personalised Start Pages' I can pull together my online identity for work and play. This is done by bringing together blog posts, pictures, videos and rss feeds into one online page. Pageflakes is just one of the available user friendly and free 'personalised start page' Web2.0 programmes . Heres an example:
Talk about personal and private show elephant video

Go to
RSS begginers guide, show adding flakes and tags, mention tags

Reasons why I like Pageflakes:
  • It allows the incorpration of blog posts in a nice navigational structure similar to a Learning Management System.
  • It is more user friendly and accessible, users with basic level skills can easily pull together RSS feeds using 'Pageflake add content' as apposed to customising blog templates.
  • It comes with a variety of custom widgets for easily incorporating cool features such as photos from Flickr and videos from You Tube.

Project teamwork

This particular example uses pageflakes and the content comes from a network of tourism and hospitality teachers called THED they come from NSW Hunter TAFE and New Zealand and have come together online as a group to share new teaching and learning ideas and techniques in the classroom using technology.

It allows the incorporation of teacher and blog posts in a nice navigational structure similar to a Learning Management System.
The networked learning environment also relies on tagging or folksonomy, which is a way of describing and categorising content such as a photo in flickr or website in delcious using a descriptive word. This enables me search and retrieve the content within my flickr based on the tag. For example I am working with a number of tourism and hospitality teachers and we have agreed to use the tag tourismhospitlatiyed What this means is that we can update other with what we are doing by taking photos in the classroom and tagging tourismhospitalatted


What we have now with RSS and tags and RSS feed aggregators is a networked learning learning environment which has
  • Dynamic content
  • Social, Conversational spaces
  • Connected, networked relationships
  • Open and Flexible to incorporate new web 2.0 technologies
  • There is no finishing line for the possiblities of using this technology,
  • To start It’s a process of playing aaround with web2.0 technology at your own pace and seeing what works for you. If you’re wondering where to start I suggest creating a flickr photosharing account and delicious account for sharing websites.


There will be many more RSS driven web2.0 tools on the horizon pageflakes and bloglines being two options. From this I hope you have a flavour off what is possible with RSS within a networked learning environment.
The important point is remember focus primarily on teaching and learning and learning outcomes you want to achieve, small steps don't get overwhelmed by the variety of choice, talk to others, share your leaarning with your colleagues learn from your studentsThanks for listening, any questions drop me an email at Steven



Feedburner is an amazing feed management service offering plethora of features like:

» How many people have subscribed to your blog ?

» Desktop or Web based RSS client - How are people reading your blog ?

» Which posts are more popular among your readers (Click Through Tracking)

» Your RSS feeds look like a neat website when viewed in a web browser outside an RSS client

» You can control whether you want to syndicate full feeds or partial feeds, including number of words

» Feedburner lets your monetize the RSS feeds

» When your change your web address in future (including the default XML feed), the change will be transparent to your RSS subscribers

» Feedburner supports both RSS and Atom Formats

» Feedburner lets you insert your Flickr pictures or links automatically in your feeds.

» Feedburner Pingshot automatically pings major blog engines like Technorati as soon as you post new content.

» Feedburner is integrated with FeedBlitz and recently launched their own Feedburner Email - an RSS to email service.

For the above reasons, I recommend bloggers to switch from the default Atom based XML feeds to Feedburner. That gives you more control over you feed and an idea about your RSS subscribers - It is otherwise impossible to determine how many people have downloaded or subscribed to your Atom XML feeds since the server access is restricted.