Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Why Google Reader RSS/Aggregator...

One of the best tools for managing information flow is an RSS Aggregator, also known as a "feed reader." With an aggregator, you can "subscribe" to your favorite sites, including blogs, wikis, news sites, etc. and be notified when new information has been added to those sites via the RSS protocol. If the terms RSS/Aggregators/Feed Readers are completely new to you, view this CommonCraft video RSS in Plain English. It explains what RSS is and how to use an aggregator when new information is posted on the sites to which you subscribe. Here is another CommonCraft video about Google Reader in Plain English to review.

I prefer to use Google Reader as an RSS/Aggregator because it is easy to setup and use and gives me access to many other useful tools from my access point to ... calendar, iGoogle, documents, maps, photos, and much more. Here's a specific example that makes this point.

Recently, I created two public Google Docs spreadsheet databases; this was done easily while reading a blog about Twitter for Educators using Google Reader from one of my PLN friends (Liz Davis, Educators on Twitter at http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?key=pM_ZE5BS0SgqDabnhl8Z2aA&hl=en"). It was easy to set about doing by simply clicking on Google Docs in my top menu.

Like Liz I had seen several lists of educators on Twitter; but, I had not seen any for Plurk and Utterli though I had recently developed Wikis for Plurk and Utterli that organizes by subject area. Liz's post inspired me to learn Google Docs spreadsheet by creating (I learn much better by DOING!) two Google Doc spreadsheet lists, one for Plurk and one for Utterli. These can be sorted across different criteria like Plurk, Twitter, Utterli,Facebook, City, State, Country, Role, Subject or Grade Level. The process I follwed was to first create a Google form for educators to fill out and then I made the corresponding spreadsheets public so that anyone can view and sort.

You can complete the form and add yourself to the list if appropriate and/or view and sort by clicking on the links below and if appropriate.

Educators on Plurk Google Docs form at http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?key=p-lJl9dLLkI8dMjHNHWdsIw ...a searchable and sortable list of Educators on Plurk to view/sort at http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=p-lJl9dLLkI8dMjHNHWdsIw&hl=en

Educators on Utterli Google Docs form at http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?key=p-lJl9dLLkI_EpZKmqmTDOQ ...a searchable and sortable list of Educators on Utterli to view/sort at http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=p-lJl9dLLkI_EpZKmqmTDOQ&hl=en

What RSS/Aggregator do you use and why? Do you incorporate an RSS/Aggregator into you Pedagogy? If so, how? If not, why not?

Click to view Bill Graziadei's profile on LinkedIn Click to view Bill Graziadei's Retaggr profile card.

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