Subscribing via RSS & Google Reader to Classroom Blogs

All of our classrooms at MJGDS have their own blog. Several grade levels are piloting individual student portfolios based on a blogging platform.

  • How do you keep up with all this information?
  • How do you filter and organize it?
  • How can you avoid having to go back to blogs to check if the owner has updated with a new post?

You can download this How-To-Guide for Subscribing via RSS & Google Reader to Classroom Blogs as a pdf.

According to Wikipedia an

RSS (most commonly expanded as Really Simple Syndication) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format.[2] An RSS document (which is called a “feed”, “web feed”,[3] or “channel”) includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship. Web feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically. They benefit readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favored websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place. RSS feeds can be read using software called an “RSS reader”, “feed reader”, or “aggregator”, which can be web-based, desktop-based, or mobile-device-based.

RSS Feed Icons

RSS in Plain English Video

Google Reader in Pain English Video

Start scanning websites you frequent often for different variations of this RSS feed icon. Some will have the icon listed in a prominent place on the website, others will just have a text link in the sidebar of footer of the page or some will have NO sign that there is an RSS feed available.

You can subscribe, among others to the following RSS feeds:

  • ·      Blogs
  • ·      Wikis
  • ·      Google Searches for specific topics or keywords
  • ·      Twitter feeds of individual users
  • ·      Facebook feeds for individual users or pages

If you are not sure if  a certain page has an RSS feed available and you are using Firefox as your browser, you check for an RSS icon on the right side in the URL Address box. If a feed is available you can see the RSS icon, if there is no icon, then there is no RSS feed available for this site.

Create a Google Account (if you don’t have one already), sign in and and go to Google Reader- http://www.google.com/reader .

When you are at a website that has a RSS feed, you have a few options available to you.

Copy the URL (Web Address) of the site you want to subscribe to and then paste it into the  “Add Subscription” box

In your Firefox browser, click on the RSS icon in the URL Address bar

A dropdown menu will appear. Choose the RSS feed

Make sure you select Google from the dropdown menu, you might want to check off the option “Always use Google to subscribe to feeds”, then click the “Subscribe Now” button.

Click “Add to Google Reader”

Click on dropdown menu of  “Feed Settings”

Choose an already created folder or choose “New Folder” to create and name.

Your RSS feed will be filed and available in the Subscription Folders in the left sidebar.

A new and unread post will be shown in bold letters.

In order to read the post, click on the title. The post will drop down.

If you would like to read leave a comment on the post  or look directly on the blog click on the arrow  to the right of the post’s title.

You can also star, organize (tag), share or e-mail the posts by choosing and clicking on one of the icon at the bottom of the post in Google Reader.