Teaching with Blogs and RSS


CC BY-NC-SA Karen Eliot. Question Mark.

CC BY-NC-SA Karen Eliot. Question Mark.

Schedule of Events

Using blogs to Connect.

Need a Blog?

Learn to set up your own space.

Have a Blog?

Use tags to organize your writing.

Connect to RSS Feed

Fill out the Form

Schedule of Events

Hangout on Air Netcast: (TBD)

Join Troy Hicks, an international expert on teaching with RSS and Greg McVerry as they host a fifteen minute show on using RSS.

Live Twitter Chat:

Join us for our first Twitter chat Thursday at 9:00 pm EST to discuss strategies, experiences, and challenges of teaching with RSS.

Make Cycle:

For this cycle you have to make or share a blog. Then write a post explaining why you came to join the #QuestionTheWeb experience.

RobMcDonaldRSSRobotCC-BY

CC-BY. Rob McDonald. RSS Robot-Shout it Out. Flickr

 Badge

Participants who complete the makes in this activity will be ready to use RSS and blogs with their students. Once you have set up and used blogs and RSS in your classroom you can return to apply for the RSS Teacher Badge

rssteacher

Why Teach with Blogs and RSS

Open learning on the web works best when when you help make our world. This class will run primarily through own blogs. You own and publish your learning and decide what you want to share.
This allows us to share and curate your makes using a process called RSS (really simple syndication or Rich Site Summary…depending on who you ask).

How to Teach with Blogs and RSS

 We basically are using a system that allows the learner to publish on their own site and push the material out onto the web. We will also be syndicating this content.
The goal of using RSS in the classroom for reading and writing is to create a community united arround shared purpose and text.
#QuestionTheWeb uses Feedly as our RSS reader. I will have a public feed for every the entire and  community and each classroom.You can add the feed to your reader or choose to use Feedly as well.

Blogging and RSS Tutorial

There are three parts in this tutorial. If you need more help Greg McVerry will offer 1-1 support. Just leave a comment below, post a question to the forum or connect with him on Twitter.
  1. Decide if you will use an existing blog or create a new blog
  2. Connect your your blog to #QuestionTheWeb
  3. Review the rules on how to blog (Hint: The first rule is there are no rules)

Need to set up a new blog?

If you do not already have a blog the first step is  to choose a platform. This makes blogging really easy as everything you write will be about #QuestionTheWeb
This tutorial is designed for those who want to have their blog hosted for free online. If you want to self-host your own blog (a more advanced but really easy process) we recommend reclaimhosting.com.

Step One: Choose a platform

  • WordPress.com a hosted version of the most popular blogging platform. You get a good selection of themes and features (but not quite as many options as hosting your own blog).
  • Blogger is Google’s hosted platform, so is fully integrated with your Google account and other tools. Blogger offers a wide range of themes and features to customize your blog.
  • tumblr is less thought of as a blogging platform, and is often more focused on media, but offers everything you need to write and organize your content, and its interface for writing is the least complex. Like WordPress and blogger, tumblr offers a range of themes to choose from. It takes a little more digging to find features for creating pages and enabling comments.

Step Two: Choose a url address

Be creative but logical. You may find It may take a few attempts to choose a blog url that is not already used. I would suggest avoiding ones that include a specific year in it or questiontheweb (e.g. questiontheweb.wordpress.com) — what if you really like using this site and what to blog beyond #QuestionTheWeb? What if you want to use the blog in 5 years?

Next choose a title. The title is where it will be listed on your blog site. For example the url may be mywalkmyworld.blogspot.com but the title of the blog could be My Journey, Our Walk. The title is how other people cite your blog. So be creative. Stay away from using your class number (GregsENG524) or questiontheweb (questionthewebblog). Its just boring. Your blog title is the front door to your digital space. Make it inviting.

Step Three: Go to the form below and tell us about your new blog

Step Four: Write your first post

Now write a post. Publish.  Explain your why. Why are you here? Why do you want to take a join #QuestionTheWeb? What do you hope to gain?

Step Five: Spread your post

Now head to your favorite social network (Facebook, Google+, Twitter etc) and share the url to your post.

Already have a blog?

Great. Except we are only interested in the posts you write about #QuestionTheWeb. In other words we only want to syndicate your posts about #QuestionTheWeb. We will catch up on all your other great writing another time.

You need to understand how to use categories, tags, or labels. This identifies a post as being about #QuestionTheWeb WordPress uses categories. Blogger uses labels. Tumblr uses tags.

WordPress

If you are using a wordpress blog you will use a category. Create a category called questiontheweb. Then when you publish a post for questiontheweb assign the category.

Blogger

If you are using blogger you will use a label. When you publish a post assign the label questiontheweb

Tumblr

If you are using tumblr you will  use a tag. Use the tag questiontheweb.

Edublogs

If you are using edublogs you will use a category.

How to Connect Your Blog

We will be using an RSS feed to connect everyone’s blog. After reading these instructions you will be linked to a form to collect information about your blog. RSS works.

Technically RSS is a type of file your browser can read. A virtual database containing all of your posts. Each entry includes a title (title of your blog post), the date it was published, a link to the single post, and then the HTML for all of the post’s content.

Important: before you can figure out your RSS feed you must publish one post to the category /tag/label walkmyworld. This way if you can’t figure out your RSS feed (no worries if you can’t) Greg will be able to by visiting your blog.

Step One: Review the basics of blog and rss feed url

If you know this stuff skip ahead. Though a little review never hurt.

It is important you understand the URL of your blog.

The main URL for your blog will look like this:

WordPress:  http://myblog.wordpress.com

Blogger: http://myblog.blogspot.com

Tumblr: http://myblog.tumblr.com

Edublogs: http://myblog.edublogs.org

It is important you understand the URL of a specific post.

The url for a specific post will usually look like this:

Self hosted WordPress:       http://myblog.com/myfrontdoor

WordPress:                        https://myblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/myfrontdoor

Blogger:                             http://myblog.blogspot.com/2015/01/01/myfrontdoor

Edublogs:                           http://myblog.edublogs.org/201501/01/myfrontdoor

It is important you understand how to share just your specific feed.

You can organize your posts into groups. You use categories, labels, and tags to accomplish this goal. This can then be turned into a feed that our RSS readers can scoop up.

The RSS feed is really just another URL address. The big difference is a word or two was added. This is usually “feed(s)” or “rss”

WordPress:     Most WordPress blog feeds are found just by attaching /feed to the url

http://myblog.wordpress.com/category/walkmyworld/feed

Blogger:    The RSS Feed address will look like

http://myblog.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default/-/walkmyworld

Tumblr:  The RSS Feed will look like

http:/myblog.tumblr.com/tagged/walkmyworld/rss

Edublogs:  The RSS Feed will look lie

http://myblog.edublogs.org/category/walkmyworld/feed

Step Two: Write a post

Go complete your first post about #QuestionTheWeb. Tell us why you are here. When you publish the post make sure to assign walkmyworld as a category, label or tag.

Step Three: Determine your RSS Feed URL.

 Method One: Cut and Paste- Copy the url from above and cut and paste in your blog url.
Method Two: Visit your blog- Once your post is published (with a category/tag/label) you can visit that post and click on the category/tag/label. Then look at the URL. Make it match the rss feed addresses above.
Method Three: In method one or two do not work Contact Greg. He will help.
 Step Four: Share the URL to your RSS feed
Go to the form below. If you have any questions on how to proceed leave a comment for Greg below or find him on Twitter.