I have always enjoyed looking at and reading a variety of blogs. I will admit I spend some time on Pinterest, and most of my pins link to a blog that I then subscribe to. My e-mail fills up daily with these subscriptions. I had heard of RSS before, and I knew it provided a means of following blogs and different websites, but I never understood exactly how it worked or how I could benefit from it. This lesson alone has proven to me that I am in the right program and that I still have a lot to learn about technology. I really enjoyed setting up my Digg reader account, and I look forward to adding more blogs and being able to sift through all those that I subscribe to in the future.
Creating a lesson plan using RSS was a little more difficult for me, but for different reasons than most of my classmates. I could see a lot of possibilities for use in my classroom, but I did not know where to begin. I decided I had to start at the beginning because the use of RSS will be completely new to my students. I hope to help my students set up a Digg account, subscribe to some different sites, and continue to build on the use of RSS in my classroom. I chose to do a lesson for my Psychology class because our current trimester is coming to an end, but I will keep most of my Psychology students throughout this coming trimester as well. In this lesson, students participate in a couple different activities that demonstrate how our biases and experiences can effect and cause discrepancies in our memory construction. Students will then set up a Digg Reader account and find some sites that have eyewitness accounts and repressed-memory cases to add to their feeds. Students will watch this video, and I will guide them through setting up their accounts, adding a site, and creating folders to organize their subscriptions.
I am really excited to try this lesson in my classroom this next week. I have used the activities before, so I know students really enjoy them. In the past the activities have brought a real-life application that students can relate to. Our administration is really pushing us to include even more reading and writing for students in our classrooms. I feel that RSS is a tool that will allow me bring reading and writing to my students in a new way and will make it more exciting for them. Eventually, I would like to get to the point where all of my students have their own blog, similar to this class, where they can post their writing assignments. Students can then follow each other through an RSS feed, and I can follow them as well, making it easier and faster to grade assignments as they are done. It will eliminate the “I lost my paper” and “the e-mail did not send” excuses. I am really looking forward to furthering the use of RSS in my classroom.