I have been using Google Reader for a while, now. It has all of my written news and entertainment in one place. So, when you scroll through some of my list of shared items, you probably will not find anything inappropriate, but you mind find several items unrelated to education. I collect the artsy, weird and interesting things that appear in my feed:
I also went through my list and removed a few shared items, to make it even more education-centric. I would like to find out if it is possible to make different lists of shared items without using a new Google account for each, so that I could keep my personal, public list, but also have lists for sharing with my students or colleagues.
This is definitely something that would be of great use to online teachers of history, psychology, general science, etc. In addition to connecting with other educators by following their blogs, the instructors can comb through their news feeds on a daily or weekly basis and share pertinent articles, stories or videos with their students. They do this without having to create a separate account to follow things that they want to read for themselves.
It would be a good way to showcase the work of your students. If you have them working on their own blogs and are subscribed to them, as we are in EdTech 501, you can share good examples of this or that in your shared items, as the students are working.
Using a feed reader such as Google reader saves a lot of time. I do not have to go to each of the websites I’m subscribed to, and check to see if there are new posts or items. Just one glance in the left hand column of my Google Reader window I know that Technology Teacher has not posted anything new, this weekend, but The Comics Curmudgeon has several new posts.
It is also a good way to organize information. You can categorize feeds by subject or by what you are using them for. I have a folder for EdTech 501 Learning Logs. I also have a folder of my “Favorite” feeds, which DOES include some educational feeds. I think RSS is a powerful tool – I don’t know how varied its uses are, but I think the things that it can be used for are significant.