Tag Archives: RSS

Ten Minutes of Connecting: Day 16 – RSS Feeds, Another Way to Personalize the Content You Receive

Today we are taking a step back to our work on content.  A tweet yesterday, by Heather Theijsmeijer, has been retweeted countless times, and it has inspired this post on how to work smarter, not harder.

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We KNOW educators are very busy.  The OPC/UWO report on the role of the Principal in Ontario is a sobering look at the hours required to manage schools and lead learning in this province.

Today we explore another tool that will help you streamline the content you view each day.  In the comments on a previous post in this series, a colleague asked us how to quickly follow blogs using RSS feeds, so that she could visit one site and read all of the postings.

RSS, or “Really Simple Syndication” allows you to aggregate a number of sites into one place, allowing you to quickly check in and scan a number of feeds at the same time instead of visiting a number of different sites.

While there are many options to choose from when you are looking for an RSS Reader, we are going to walk you through Feedly.

When you go to the http://feedly.com site, it looks like this:

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You are asked to pick some topics that interest you to begin.  Like other tools we have used (pinterest, flipboard, zite), you will be able to narrow this search to personalize your feed. Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 7.25.55 AM

Choosing #Education brings up some possible blogs/sites to follow.  Click the green plus sign to start following.


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Feedly will then signal you to sign in with a social media account.

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Once your account is created, you continue to add the blogs and sites you want to follow.

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The blogs and sites you follow will then appear on the left side of the page.
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How do you follow a blog that does not automatically appear in Feedly?  Let’s look at how to follow this blog.  At OSSEMOOC, we make this blog very easy to follow.  We will look at three different ways to do it.

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To begin with, OSSEMOOC provides an opportunity to follow by email update.  We cater to new users, and this is the simplest method to follow every update.  But not every blog or site provides you with this option.



OSSEMOOC also allows following by RSS. If you click on RSS – Posts,

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you will be taken to this website:


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Copy the web address by highlighting it and using the keys (held down together) <CTRL c >(<Command c> on a Mac).


Go back to Feedly and “Add Content”.

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Paste the address into the dialog box by using the keys <CTRL v> (held down together) (<Command v on a Mac>).

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Now click the green + to add OSSEMOOC to your feed.


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It will look something like this:
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You can choose what collection or stream you want OSSEMOOC to appear in.

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To start using your Feedly reader, simply click on “all”, or on specific collections.  When you see an item of interest, simply click on it and you will be taken to the original site.

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Of course some blogs and sites, like OSSEMOOC, make it simple to follow on Feedly by clicking on the Follow button.



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Now you can start building your personal feed so that you can simply follow your favourite blogs, news sites, research sites, etc.

Remember to share your best findings with your PLN.

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Ten Minutes of Connecting: Day 11 – What Do We Need from Our Professional Learning Network (PLN)?

Update, December 2015

Below we refer to ZITE and Flipboard.  Flipboard has purchased Zite, and all Zite content needs to be migrated to Flipboard by Dec. 7. 2015.




Recently we have been discussing some of the tools that help us collect and share information online.  As we dig deeper into the concept of “curation” this week, it’s a good time to review why we are doing this – why setting aside time every day to connect with other educators in our PLN is so vital to our practice, and to the learning experiences of our students.

Last year, Tom Whitby (one of the co-founders of #edchat) wrote a passionate piece on The Connected Educator Culture. Reading it is well worth your time as you become a connected leader.

He concludes his post with the following statements:

What does it mean to be a connected educator?

Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano explores this thinking further in the Langwitches Blog.

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(View the video by clicking on the image. The video is also embedded in Day 1 of this series.)


Getting connected is an intentional practice. It challenges our thinking about our practice and helps us engage in further learning.

As a connected learner, what do you ask of your PLN?

Consider the following list:

What I need from my PLN


How are you connected to the constant flow of resources?  In the list above, “customized magazine style RSS readers” is mentioned.

Often on Twitter, you will see a number of items shared from the personalized magazine “Zite“.

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Zite is a much-loved personalized news service with the connected educator crowd.  About eight months ago, Zite was purchased by Flipboard, a similar app.  Both products stream to your device the newest articles on the topics you choose.  As you “like” specific items, the algorithm continues to target your interests more precisely, while still maintaining access to headlines.


While Zite is still available, and Flipboard has promised to provide a process to migrate your information to Flipboard when Zite is cancelled, if you are not currently subscribed, it seems wise to start with Flipboard.

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After downloading the app to your device, follow the simple instructions to sign up.  If you link your account to your Twitter account, you can share directly to Twitter from Flipboard.

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Begin by choosing some areas of interest to start the feed.

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Instantly your customized feed becomes available.

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As you look at the articles provided, “like” those that you find valuable to your learning by clicking the heart in the bottom right corner.

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Explore the options to share directly from the article.

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Sharing directly to Twitter looks like this:

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Many connected educators have made it a habit to spend a few minutes each day, reading a customized feed like Zite or Flipboard, and sharing what they discover with their PLN.

If you are already reading and sharing, what is your favourite service or app?  How did you establish your routine of reading and sharing?  What advice do you have for those just starting to build their PLN?

Curating OSSEMOOC content

One of the beneficial aspects of connected online learning is tailoring the content to your interests.   Web services such as  RSS  feeds, scoop.it  and  paper.li  are great ways to define or filter the content, which then provides you a more efficient and meaningful learning experience.

This week we have launched an OSSEMOOC online newsletter keyed on the  #ossemooc  twitter hashtag, the  @ossemooc  twitter account and corresponding terms in the Google Plus environment.

The OSSEMOOC weekly will be published each Tuesday.  Our first issue,  published on April 1st, 2014 in conjunction with the  On the Rise K12  conference event, is available  [here].

We hope this will capture a good synopsis of the  “week in action”,  provide you with great learning and introduce you to new new people to connect with.

Happy connecting and learning.