Coleman's expressions

Friday, February 17, 2006

Back to RSS - Week 6

Realizing how quickly this class has progressed through a plethora of content and new experiences, I welcome this week’s blog to reflect!  The one aspect to which I keep returning is the whole notion of RSS.  Six weeks ago I had never heard of the acronym or concept and now it is a part of my daily life – how could I live without bloglines!  I return to Mary Harrsch’s article, RSS: The next killer app for education, and her description of RSS being the next (after e-mail) “program that provides the capability for the average person to use technology to solve everyday problems and enrich their lives.” What a phenomenal tool awaiting our friends, family, colleagues, and students – I don’t know about you all, but when I mention “RSS” to folks, I usually get blank stares, so I feel like a real pioneer!

As well, this week I found two blog postings that seemed to relate.  Tom Hoffman comments that “there is more excitement about the potential for technology than there is over the reality of technology.”  This contemplation is a result of an informal poll of educators (who in the 1990’s were heavily involved in integrating new technologies in the classroom) noting that most had heard about blogs, some had read blogs, but very few had published them.  The numbers were worse for questions about podcasts and social bookmarking.  So how do we re-create the enthusiasm for this new generation of educational technology tools?  Will it be a ground swell from the grass roots?  I noticed that FETC (Florida Educational Technology Conference) appears to have down-sized from when I used to attend regularly in the late 90’s.  

The other blog, Will Richardson’s Class Content Aggregation, reflects on the ways that both tagging and aggregating can bring all different types of content together.  He suggests that students get a unique tag for anything they find relevant about that particular course which is collected and shared … similar to what we are doing with the UFET tag for this class!  One of the links on this blog led me to another extension of the RSS concept – BlogBridge Reading Lists, described as a collection of feeds, usually about a single topic, which someone has put together for the benefit of others.  The power of RSS is simply awesome and although I venture to say Harrsch’s prediction of RSS as the next killer app is true, I hope it catches on across a broader audience (especially educators!) soon.

2 Comments:

  • Thanks for your refections, Marie. I can always find great insight at your blog! Your comment regarding Hoffman's statement that there is more excitement over technology's potential than the reality strikes a chord. I can relate it to Oppenheimer's thesis in The Flickering Mind, but it strikes me that becuase of the speed with which technology seems to develop and grow, many can't help but have this view. It is easy to be like the child sitting amidst the wrapping paper on Christmas morning and saying, before he/she has even played with the first gift, "is there anything else?!"

    For me, coordinating and utilizing the time between selection, purchase, and integration of ed tech tools for proper training is paramount and I am in agreement with Oppenheimer on his point that we have heretofore dropped the ball in this regard (for the most part) thus far. Obviously, I like metaphors and one that comes to mind on this topic is the tons of out-dated equipment and software that awaits disposal in just about every school, much of it lightly used. A very short time ago, it was new and promised a lot of good but suddenly it has lost its utility. Reminds me of a closet with clothes hanging in it that still have the price tags attached or the original creases...unlikely to be worn and the owner wondering why they were puchased in the first place!

    By Blogger James Harris, at 2/18/2006 5:47 AM  

  • BlogBridge is new to me although I am not surprised to see it. Why didn't I think of it first?? If you have a "free" moment, look up feedbooks. Some hypothesize they could supplement texts in most classes and replace texts in classes requiring current information. Yet, another interesting thought -KD :)

    By Blogger Kara Dawson, at 2/18/2006 12:07 PM  

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