Monday, September 27, 2010

Using My RSS reader (or not?)

I love the ability to subscribe to blogs and news feeds and have those posts delivered right to my own computer. As I continue to do some reflection prior to Friday's first face to face meeting for our year-long PLP experience, my focus right now is on how I use my RSS reader.

Ironically, at dinner a few nights ago, two friends and I were talking and I mentioned how stockpiled my Google Reader was currently. I have many subscriptions, and some of those subscriptions are to very prolific writers, so I find myself feeling overwhelmed at times.

Most, but not all, my subscriptions are to teachers and librarians like myself, people who love children's books and love to post about the new ones they've read. I count on some of those people to help keep me current on what's available so I can in turn make those titles available to my own students. I especially rely on these people around Newbery time, as Bill and I have been trying to read the book that wins the last few years. :)

Recently , I've added several blogs to my RSS reader who spend a lot of time thinking about 21st Century Literacy. Some are colleagues and others I found via Twitter or by looking at others' blog rolls.

The subscriptions that I am very loyal about are a close group of friends. I don't always stop and leave a comment, but I try very hard to stay current with their thinking. I truly feel that their thinking helps me be a smarter and more reflective educator. And, on the days that their posts were more personal, well I just like knowing what's new in their lives.

I am the queen of scrolling through new items and only looking at titles and first sentences that really grab my attention. I used to feel like I needed to click on each new item and read it in its entirety. I use the RSS tool differently now, and the scrolling works for me. Sure, there is a chance I might miss out on a really good post, but I think the odds are in my favor that I will find more than I miss.

Since I haven't even scrolled past some of my subscriptions lately, I think I need to go and get busy -- my Google Reader has 191 posts just waiting for me. Time to get scrolling! You never know from where the next great idea or piece of thinking might come.


  1. Sounds like you and I have similar tastes for what we subscribe to. Sounds like we also use Google Reader in a similar way. I have to admit to marking posts older than a day as read. Otherwise I'd never keep up.

  2. I am going to spend some time with teachers and how to use RSS feeds and readers. I do find that mine piles up if I am not careful to keep up. Google Reader is so convenient if you set it up as a home page.