What The Heck Is That?

Posted by Paige on July 23, 2009 in Best Practices, Technology |

RSSToday was funny (peculiar, not haha). Yesterday when I started thinking about posting my top Google tips I knew that I wanted today’s post to be about Google Reader (a tool I heavily rely on). Then today I was showing my site to my husband and three teachers. Each of them asked “what is that little thing in the coffee cup?” (BTW, a HUGE thank you to the maker of this theme, Edward Caissie for doing so much to make my cute little icon work!). My response was, “that’s how you can get my blog through an RSS reader.” In every instance the response was “what?”, “what’s an RSS reader?”

Actually I am frequently taken aback because I just assume that everyone knows about this stuff. Ok, Well, that’s why I started this site actually, because I really want to help everyone who doesn’t know this. Sure, if you are an experienced pro, this post isn’t for you, but for everyone else, you might want to keep reading. 🙂

Common Craft, an amazing group who make simple to understand videos, explain RSS quite well. Check out this video by them (it’s only 3 minutes long):

The bottom line…using RSS to pull all the things you want to stay abreast is such a great tool. I use Google Reader because all I have to do is sign into my GMail account and click on the reader link. In addition, I have multiple Google accounts, personal, work & blog (you don’t need to do that, but that’s what works for me), so I can also pull in my RSS feeds into each account based on the topic. See the screenshot below of my Google Reader page:

Create your own caption

For example: I have all my ed tech blogs feeding into my personal account. This fall I am starting all my students with their own “blogs”. When that happens I can pull all their feeds into my work account.

Just about every site you come across today has an RSS feed. If you are using Firefox you simply need to look at the address bar and see if there is a little RSS icon present. If one is there, that means the site can be subscribed to and you simply need to click it.

I know IE 8 has a similar feature in the toolbar. However I apologize that I don’t know about the functions in other browsers (really, you should be using Firefox anyway!) 🙂

If you read yesterday’s post about Google Calendar, and you followed my advice, that means you are already signed up with Google Reader. So why don’t you click on the little heart chocolate and subscribe to this blog. Then, go to my Ed Tech Blogs Page and subscribe to any that look interesting to you.

If you didn’t see my post about Google Calendar, well, you should read that, then you will be so on top of things by the time September rolls around, your students will be completely blown away.

This post has been provided especially for my friends Annie, Brian, Kris and my husband Paul. 🙂

Be sure to check-in tomorrow when I discuss Google Voice.

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