Thursday, June 02, 2005

RSS Set to Revolutionize Communications?

There's a lesson for teaching and learning in the explosive growth of RSS: Really Simple Syndication. From eSchool News online:

Simply put, RSS allows you to follow information from multiple online sources, such as news web sites or "blogs" (web logs), without having to surf all over the web to find it.

Using an RSS reader, you can set up a nearly unlimited number of channels, or feeds, from various online sources that offer the technology. Whenever one of these sources is updated, the new information is pushed to your computer automatically in the form of a web link that appears in your RSS reader. By clicking on the link, you can access the entire original post or article.

Blogs ... have quickly caught on in the education field, giving scholars an opportunity to share their ideas in a dedicated, spam-free stream of information.

RSS is a natural fit for educators, who were frequent users of listservs.

"I really like the convenience of not having to go to a specific site" to find information, said Craig Nansen, the technology coordinator for Minot, N.D., Public Schools. "With RSS, I'm getting information I want when I want it, and I don't have to wade through any other junk. I had found that listservs were too cumbersome, and you didn't have easy access to archives."

I'm getting ready to use an RSS reader myself, so I found this story particularly interesting. By the way, the data show that about 5 percent of Internet users have an RSS reader, so don't feel left behind if you're not using one.


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