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?