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Rachel Roberts, in this post, gives an overview of a webinar session facilitated by Florence Lyons (@froggieflo).

Firstly Florence used the polls to find out how many people were using an RSS reader and what we were using. 80% of us used a reader, of those 60% used Google reader (the webinar was facilitated when Reader was still around), 10% iGoogle and 10% RSS reader. Seems like Google tops the polls and seems to be a logical choice if you are using Gmail & Google docs as you are already logged in.

We went through the nuts & bolts of using the different tools for organising our reading - using the star button for signposting items to come back to, using the folders and sharing with others. This was pretty handy to go through as though i am a regular reader, i am not very organised with my feeds. Being more organised would allow me to prioritize my reading, which at times can be a bit too much, and manage the more relevant things to revisit. We also went through the different ways of subscribing to sites. Unfortunately since our Ning is a closed community, it won't run RSS feeds through it, this is something that may change at a later date to enable our various networks and the wider educational community to access & contribute to our shared resources - a conversation though for another meeting.

Diigo was another great tool that Florence shared with us today. Like a social bookmarking tool, it will also highlight & add sticky notes to websites you visit and you can share this all with groups in Diigo. Diigo will easily transfer all your bookmarks out of delicious for you so this is definitely on my 'try next' list. Comparisons were drawn with Evernote. Weekly email updates provide a quick overview of links from groups you might be following.

We discussed how you would have the time to keep up with this.... These tools can help you streamline and manage your reading, so therefore save you time revisiting sites & searching for relevant material; but as you really get into them you may find yourself oversubscribing to things you just can't keep up with - a bit of a double-edged sword really. So use them smartly, use the features that help you prioritize and organise and be discerning about what is important to subscribe to.

Here also are some links that Florence shared:

  • WikiEducator Facilitating Online - a course about online facilitation that Florence is participating in (this workshop was one of the activities for it)
  • Hellhoundblogger- a blog post about all the different ways you can use Google reader.
  • A Teachers Basket - this is a light read about how an rss reader can be likened to a teacher's basket - everything is kept in there!

And finally the video that started the session:

Click here for the link to the recorded session.

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