Keeping Up with the Google-dashians
It seems every time you turn around, there’s a new Google something. And it’s not just Google! Publishers are creating wonderful and engaging online content to help support both teachers and students. More and more websites and online resources pop up for educators. Did you know…
Every 60 seconds:
• 60 hours of video are uploaded to Youtube
• 168 million emails are sent
• 98,000 tweets are sent
More than ever, the Internet has made information and resources available to educators. As an educator, you probably already have multiple favorite websites that continually publish new and interesting information relative to your content area or to other teaching topics. But when does all this information become too much? Who has time to check all those sites regularly? How do you carve time to sift through all the noise to find the really “golden nuggets?”
There are several online resources for educators – and wouldn’t you know, they involve using technology to manage information made available by technology! Put that technology to work for you!
A few popular tools or apps for educators are RSS feed readers, news aggregators and magazine or social media aggregators. If your biggest challenge is keeping up with the massive influx of available resources and information, these might be two tools useful to you.• RSS Feeds (Rich Site Summary) deliver the latest “news” and information from various websites. What is an RSS (Rich Site Summary) Feed? It is a tool that can be used to deliver regularly changing Internet content to you via an RSS feed reader or aggregator. Generally, you’ll know if a site supports RSS subscriptions if it has an orange icon that looks something like this:
Feed readers then serve as aggregator so the information gets pushed to you in one collective space instead of you having to visit all your favorite sites to get the information you seek. Cool right? There are several options available for RSS feed readers. I set up an RSS feed reader via my Outlook mail (and the articles of interest pushed to me via RSS feeds) comes to one spot – my email box. To do the same, simply click on the help function within Outlook and type “Read RSS Feeds” in the search box. Don’t use Outlook, try apps like Newsify to aggregate for you.• Another tool is anAlert. Alert tools work by sending you an email when a story breaks that is likely of interest to you or that matches parameters you establish. This tool or functionality can alert you to stories/news/video/etc. about certain topics…it’s called Google Alerts. You tell it what you want to see and it will search and send you the relevant information. Think of it as your personal assistant! Use this guide to learn more and to get started.• Apps like Flipboard can help you aggregate your favorite content into a one-stop magazine app. You subscribe to content then can browse stories in each genre. It compiles information on topics of your choosing and can even pull in your social media feeds like Twitter. This enables you to see lots of information from many different places in one space. A “magazine” tailored just for you! Check out these tutorials to learn more and to get started.There are loads of tech tools out there to use, but it’s likely you can find one that fits your needs. Many are free and fairly user-friendly!
Are you already using this kind of technology to simplify your life and/or enhance your professional development? We’d love to hear about it – please share your tips and tricks!
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