Diving In

November 9, 2006 on 11:51 pm | In education, nysais, technology, web 2.0 | 4 Comments

Well, I’ve been playing with a number of 2.0 tools over the past couple of years, ever since hearing Will Richardson speak at Mohonk 2004 on a very snowy Friday morning. He convinced me that I needed to explore weblogs, wikis, RSS, and such, and I began to integrate these tools into my work at school and to advocate for their use in the classroom, but until now I never took the plunge and starting blogging my own thoughts and ideas. So I set up this blog and in I go.

It’s fitting that I should start this journey after again attending one of Will’s workshops, this one focusing exclusively on the use of RSS in the classroom. It really got the wheels turning. I’m already regularly using feeds through Netvibes and on my Palm via AvantGo (for the long subway rides each day), but Will’s presentation helped me to see some great educational uses, such as the ability to aggregate information (text, photos, video, etc.) based on keyword and tag-based search feeds and to consolidate a number of sources into a single feed.

Which got me thinking…. I tend to be a person who likes to look for the Swiss Army Knife of online tools–something that does it all well. I want my blog to integrate with my wiki to integrate with course management software and on and on. It’s a search for the grail–the killer information managment app. But then that leaves me open to the paralysis of “but what if I start using something now and then find something I like more?” Today I realized that perhaps a mix of different tools is really a more flexible modular solution. And RSS is the tie that binds it all together.

Which got me thinking…. If every teacher had a blog, and every student had an RSS aggregator, what other course management software would you need? If teachers posted comments, prompts, notes, assignments, handouts, etc. to their blogs, students could simply subscribe to the feeds to create a personalized course content delivery system. And if the students had blogs, and the teachers had aggregators, then the whole thing could become pretty interactive. I’m sure there are some stumbling blocks that aren’t occurring to me right now, but at first glance, this seems encouraging.

NYSAIS Conference – Mohonk 2006


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  1. totally would work! we would have to think about the public/private divide, and making sure each kid had the same or needed rss feeds, but yes, i’m with you!

    hear of opml? it is a feed you can point to that automatically adds a number of feeds. so every kid in the 5th grade, ms. brown’s class could add her opml which would auto-subscribe them to science, english, history, spanish, art, etc!

    so bill, you work on it, and then give the nysais presentation next year. can’t wait to be there.


    Comment by arvind s grover — November 10, 2006 #

  2. congrats on the new site btw. 55 gigs, you’re an animal!

    Comment by arvind s grover — November 10, 2006 #

  3. Bill — congrats on your blog and on your first post. I look forward to chewing up spitting out, and wel…I won’t continue the metaphor, but talking about and implementing this stuff with you is going to be fun! — Mike

    Comment by mbernstein — November 10, 2006 #

  4. Love to site, Bill — excellent url…

    Looking forward to following along!

    - Alex

    Comment by Alex Ragone — November 12, 2006 #

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