Basically, I see RSS as an essential time saving educational tool that can aid in my unit planning and assessments in various ways. To begin with, RSS can be used to quickly access and read students’ work in one location, rather than collecting a journal or a portfolio, which can be cumbersome to keep organized, carry home, and grade.
For my Honors English 11 students, this could mean that as they complete their Honors Project, I could teach them first to set up a blog for the purpose of writing and sharing about their experiences, whether they chose to complete a job shadow, an altruistic endeavor or a personal improvement project. Because I require a daily journal as they complete their hours and a Q and A with their mentor, a blogging format would be a perfect substitute for the alternative paper portfolio I currently require.
After students learn the basics, I can have them set up their blogs similar to our learning logs where they will showcase their evidence for their project and post reflections about their experiences. Just as portfolios are personal and reflect the individual’s personality, I would encourage students to set up their blogs to mirror their creativity and organizational style with just a few guidelines that I already have in place.
After I subscribe to their blogs through RSS and organize folders by class or by project, I can teach students to subscribe to each other’s blogs through RSS. I will encourage them to not only comment on each other’s progress, but to share ideas and resources. I can even include this as part of my final assessment. Overall, this project can be taken to new heights incorporating blogs and RSS feeds.
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