My first use of Really Simple Syndication (RSS) was around year 2000 while I was pursuing my bachelor’s degree. Having subscribed to a RSS, you had to install an aggregator to receive the feeds. RSS has been touted as one of the tools which allow mass content distribution for publishers and mass content consumption for readers.
Recently, I was asked by my supervisor to research RSS and how it might be incorporated into higher education. I was tempted to ask if RSS still existed but my research revealed there are still quite a number of popular RSS feeds especially for news-, blog- and sports-related content.
Having read that Google RSS reader, Google Reader, had been discontinued, I was tempted to suggest that RSS was dead until I used the Digg app which is an easy-to-use modern day aggregator.
With the ubiquity of mobile devices, personal blogs and modern day aggregator apps, I think RSS has had a new breath of life and will continue alongside apps such as Twitter, Flipboard, etc. It was of notable interest that Digg allows you to sign in and share your feeds on Twitter thereby complementing the popular Twitter.
How Can RSS be used in the Classroom?
RSS can be used to subscribe to publications on a relevant subject matter. For instance, the U.K. Supreme Court has a RSS feed for its latest judgements. An instructor can begin a private discussion/debate on a court proceeding and after the judgement has been made, seek to rationalize the decision made by the Court with the views of students.
The same approach can be used for professional development. For example, someone who is interested in Educational Technology may subscribe to popular Educational Technology blogs such as The E-learning Curve which presents interesting perspectives on E-learning.
Other RSS feeds I have subscribed to using Digg: