RSS – Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication
When I first began to research what a RSS was and what it could be used for, I initially thought that it would be a tool that I would just trial and never really understand. After numerous hours playing around with this, I recognised how useful it actually is. The Really Simple Syndication ‘provides news updates from a website in a simple form for your computer. You read these files in a program called an aggregator, which collects news from various websites and provides it to you in a simple form,’ (Swartz, 2009).
For many years now, the little orange button has been staring me and it has never crossed my mind what it was actually used for. Now that I know, it is just a click away for me to save and follow anything on the web. After following many sites using this aggregator, I am easily informed of new information that I can access and look at rather than having to remember where I saw that site that interested me. This allows me to be updated for changing web content (What is RSS? RSS explained, 2008).
How can this be used in the classroom?
My initial thought was that RSS feeds would not really apply to the students, but oh how I was proven wrong. When researching and playing around with this, I realised how the students could have the opportunity to follow sites they are researching for classroom work or sporting sites to follow all of the updates. Whilst looking for schools using RSS aggregators, I came across the website for Fairmount Senior High School (2009). The school website had links for all of the students to save useful sites to their RSS to ensure their assignments were correct and their students were all able to keep updated with classroom work and activities happening in the school.
It came to me that there are so many ways for this simple tool to be used effectively whilst also engaging the students. The Engagement Theory (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999) relate, create and donate in the learning activities. RSS could assist students to plan, communicate and manage their work online by constantly being aware of updates that are happening. The mind really does boggle when you think of possibilities. I found this tool very useful and I can see myself using this to assist me with my university studies and in the future with my teaching.
Fairmount Senior High School (2009). What is RSS? Viewed on 17/08/09 from:
Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999) Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Viewed on 19/08/09 from:
Swartz, A. (2009) RSS info. Viewed on 03/08/09 from:
What is RSS? RSS explained (2008). Viewed on 05/08/09 from: