Web 2.0 Tools in Your Classroom

I really like Mark Woolley’s slide on the benefits of connecting people via Web 2.0:

  • collective intelligence – collaborative
  • transparent – instant gratification
  • non-hierarchical – democratic
  • potential for passion – ownership
  • open to public – real recognition
  • permanence – searchable resource

DailyLit: Read Books by Email or RSS

http://ecolibris.blogspot.com/2008/01/dailylit-books-in-small-portions-for.html

http://ecolibris.blogspot.com/2008/01/dailylit-books-in-small-portions-for.html

http://www.dailylit.com/

DailyLit is a site where busy people can sign up to receive short installments of books via email or RSS feed.  Many of these titles cost money (generally $5-$10), however over 800 titles are completely free!  It’s worth having a look at the site if you don’t have time to sit down and read a book, but have time to read a short 3-5 minute excerpt as you check your email. You can also join the online community and contribute to the forum discussions, as well as adding your own ratings and reviews.

According to the site creators, “We got the idea for DailyLit after the New York Times serialized a few classic works in special supplements a few summers ago. We wound up reading books that we had always meant to simply by virtue of making them part of our daily routine of reading the newspaper. The only thing we do more consistenly than read the paper is read email. Bingo! We put together a first version and began reading “War of the Worlds” and “Pride and Prejudice“. We showed it to friends, added more books and features at their request, and presto, DailyLit was born.”

“You can read your installments wherever you receive e-mail/RSS feeds, including on your Blackberry and iPhone. Installments arrive in your Inbox according to the schedule you set (e.g. 7:00am every weekday). You can read each installment in under 5 minutes (most folks finish in 2-3 minutes), and, if you have more time to read, you can receive additional installments immediately on demand. Our titles include bestselling and award winning titles, from literary fiction and romance to language learning and science fiction.”

If this type of reading doesn’t appeal to you, but you know someone who would appreciate it, you can even give them a gift subscription where each installment arrives at a selected time each day along with a personalized message from you.

RSS Feeds

 

What is an RSS Feed?

As blogs and other web pages are created, they generate a behind-the-scenes code in a language similar to HTML called XML. By ‘subscribing’ to this RSS code or ‘feed’, you can access the content of newsfeeds, websites and blogs without having to visit those sites. RSS stands for Rich Site Summary (or Real Simple Syndication).

 

How will it help students with their research?

With the vast amounts of information available on the web, students increasingly need to learn ways to easily access and keep track of information they really need, without wasting a lot of time searching. With RSS feeds, you can immediately be updated when new information on your topic is published.

 

How to set up an RSS Feed Reader (Aggregator) OPTION 1

 

  1. Go to Bloglines and set up a free account:  http://www.bloglines.com/register
  2. You will need to put in an email address and a password, and then you will receive a confirmation email before you can begin.

 

How to set up an RSS Feed Reader OPTION 2

 

  1. Go to iGoogle and open a free account  http://www.google.com/ig
  2. You will need to put in an email address and a password, and then you will receive a confirmation email before you can begin.
  3. On the top right of the page click on the link to ‘Add Stuff”, then on the next page click ‘Add feed or gadget’
  4. Into the box that opens paste the web address for which you would like an RSS feed.

 

How to put an RSS Feed on new websites

 

  1. Go to GoogleAlert and set up a free account: http://www.googlealert.com/signup.php
  2. You need to enter a username, password and email address, and you will be sent a confirmation email before you can begin
  3. Go to the Free Trial page and choose up to 3 different topics to be tracked
  4. Under ‘Feed Settings’, tick the ‘RSS Feed’ box
  5. Now copy and paste the URL of the RSS Feed into your Bloglines account and click ‘Subscribe’, or paste it into the RSS web address box on your iGoogle page.
  6. Each new feed will show up on the LHS of your Bloglines page or your iGoogle page.

 

How to put an RSS Feed on a News Feed

 

  1. Go to Google News http://news.google.com/ and click on the ‘Advanced News Search’ link to set up your search terms
  2. Click ‘Google Search’ and look at the resulting list
  3. If you think that is useful, click on RSS, then paste the URL of the page into your Bloglines account and click ‘Subscribe’, or paste it into the RSS web address box on your iGoogle page.
  4. If you would rather use Yahoo News, go to Yahoo! News – RSS http://news.yahoo.com/rss, and enter your own search term
  5. Click ‘Search’ then paste the URL of the resulting page into your Bloglines account and click ‘Subscribe’, or paste it into the RSS web address box on your iGoogle page.

(Information on Bloglines from Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms by Will Richardson)

Check out other information about RSS Feeds at these sites:

 http://oedb.org/library/features/the_ultimate_rss_toolset

 http://www.slideshare.net/bwatwood/using-rss/