Tidbits, Resources, and Discussion for ELI Faculty

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

RSS Feeds & Social Bookmarking

I posted a note a while back about what an RSS feed is, for those of you not very familiar with blogs. Exploring MERLOT yesterday (you all know about MERLOT, right?), I found a great, short (under 4 minutes) video that explains perfectly, and clearly enough for anyone to understand, what an RSS feed is, why you would want to use one, and how to do it. The more blogs, online news sites, etc. you read, the more you will want to use RSS feeds. Check out the video at http://blip.tv/file/205570.

I also found another short video (also under 4 minutes--you really do have time!) by the same author about social bookmarking. If you're not familiar with social bookmarking or are not sure how it works, you might want to check this out (http://blip.tv/file/331587). Social bookmarking is increasingly a part of the way our students manage information, and we'd do well to learn it, too!

The video discusses how teachers can use social bookmarking to easily share useful teaching resources we find online. There are also ways you could use these tools in your courses. For example, you could ask students to create a list of websites they have found relevant to your course topic, and require them to add notes about each one, essentially creating an annotated bibliography of websites. Then have classmates review each others' lists, and perhaps draw conclusions about the accuracy of information about your field on the web, or whatever you want them to analyze about what the whole class together has found. As an added benefit, you're making sure they all have an important emerging technical skill, and you will likely learn about a bunch of sites you didn't know about before!

What other ideas do you have for using RSS feeds, or social bookmarking, in teaching or in our work with our colleagues?


Laura said...

Exciting tools! I've heard of these before but not until I viewed these quick vids did I really appreciate the value of these tools and even learn how to get started using them! he just makes it all seem so simple. He also has one you did not mention on Wikis: http://blip.tv/file/246821. He's also got one on blogs: http://thecommoncraftshow.blip.tv/file/512104/ (although we here don't need that one). I can see ELI faculty finding valuable use for such tools with their students for, as you suggest, possible collaborative assignments. How about sharing these videos at the upcoming ELI faculty meeting? Thanks for sharing!

Meena said...

These are wonderful tools, especially the social networking. I have been looking for something like this for my mythology courses for a while. It becomes really hard for my students to find sources in certain ‘foreign’ mythologies, and I keep requesting them to share their sources by posting them in the Open Forum, or somewhere to share with their peers, but often they forget, and I forget. Not having a clear direction on where and how to share information is not a good way to evoke student interest. I love what the “dummies” video says, and I really like this. I think this is exactly what I want to do. It is in sync with the idea I have had but didn’t have the tool to do implement it. I am going to try this and see how it works. Thanks for this, Jennifer.

Jennifer Lerner said...

I'm so glad it was helpful for you both!