RSS Some More!

Today I met with my writing group, or more accurately two of us met. Ever since attending the Boston Writing Project Summer Institute a few years ago, we have been meeting regularly and sharing our writing. It keeps me connected to friends, to the writing process, and to that gentle tension of learning that our students have to maintain almost constantly.

I shared a selection from my other blog, DaddingIdeas, and in the process we talked about blogs and RSS readers. Having just given professional development on this topic, I was fired up and soon got my friend up and running on her own Google Reader.

For those of you who subscribe to feeds, what are your favorite reads?

For me, they are:

Ed Tech: http://www.freetech4teachers.com/ and http://www.speedofcreativity.org/

Hobbies: http://lifehacker.com/ and http://adafruit.com/

News: http://www.slate.com/

Parenting; http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/ and http://www.radicalparenting.com/

This is a link to my Ed Tech Bundle

 

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Providing Professional Development

Today, I served up a helping of professional development along with lunch for teachers at my school. The head of school has been terrific in supporting my Tech Fridays of which this was the second. Also, the assistant to the division head organized the food and managed the logistics of the meeting. She is amazing.

So while chowing down on burritos and salad, the ten to twelve folks learned about RSS readers and how to aggregate feeds. It was fairly successful and the librarian with whom I share a space spent part of the afternoon finding library feeds to add to her new reader.

I love this aspect of my job. While today was very productive on many fronts, the collaborative work I did with the head of the website committee and this training session gave me the biggest boost. I love working with people, and I love opening people to new possibilities.


Favorite Sources

I think my most favorite source of new ideas, tech tools, and inspiration is Richard Byrne’s Free Technology for Teachers blog. Some other sources I also draw from, in no particular order:

These are just a few of the feeds in my Ed Tech folder of my reader. There are also folders to Technology, News, Environmental, Parenting, Boston Kids Events, Friends and Family, and Hobbies.
What are your favorite blogs to read?


Tools: RSS Readers

To start the process of creating a digiflow (digital workflow) I have been searching for an RSS reader and feed aggregator app. I plan to do much of my work using an iPad. Ideally, I’d like something that allows for access to Google Reader, Facebook, and Twitter, that organizes the feeds for very quick viewing, and that allows for posting to Diigo (my bookmarking tool of choice right now), Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr (I’ll explain that one later).

Well, I haven’t found it yet. If I could build it, I would. I’d call it FeedMe!

The choices out there so far:

Mr Reader has become my default reader. It is a Google Reader with no social feed integration. There are some ways to make your Twitter and Facebook feeds show up, but they are roundabout and probably temporary until updates make them obsolete. I really like the interface, however, and the app is what I use to see my RSS feeds. I searched long and hard for a reader that had Diigo integration. There aren’t many.

Flipboard is a pleasant way to see all of my feeds: Google Reader, Facebook, and Twitter. It lays out your articles in a magazine style format. I can’t blaze through as quickly as I can in Mr. Reader, but it is nice for browsing my FB and Twitter feeds. I use the FB and Twitter apps or mobile websites for more intesive work.

I also looked at Feedly, Perfect RSS, Zite, Reeder, and Taptu. None of them fit my needs, though they all had some good points.