Sunday, 1 February 2015

ADED 1P32 Session #3- Weekly Report & Reflection

So another week, another new tool for me to discover for the first time. This week was RSS Feed Readers. Basically an email account for your favourite websites, news sources, and blogs, which updates whenever new content is posted. Seems like a perfect tool with our mindset of "everything-in-one-place", maximizing convenience and time.

This seems like a very intriguing tool for me. I'm pretty insistent on keeping up with the news, as I mentioned in my previous posts. I've always just worked my way through the various sites, but having all those stories come to one place definitely seems like the more efficient method.

But at the same time, the amount of information that began pumping in was a little overwhelming. The folders on Feedly help with organization, but it still takes a little time to get used to. But overall I'm impressed with the concept.

Feedly made me think of perhaps a more efficient and effective method of communication between Professors and students. The current method of updating Sakai with announcements and resources is clunky, and sometimes doesn't alert the students properly. Having the connection through Feedly would be a much more direct approach and would allow for less error along the way. The Professor could post articles relevant to the course and make any changes in a much more reliable manner. But I guess Sakai will have to do for now.

This is right in line with what one of the articles said about RSS, as it "provides an efficient way for students to keep in touch with faculty, stay informed about coursework..., and follow developments in there fields of study" (Educause, 2007). Perhaps it's something more schools need to take a look at.

Staying with the news theme, my Feed this week will be a news article on Ebola. Basically, a test drug was sent over to see if it could successfully halt the virus, but the project is now being cancelled due to a lack of patients. Ebola's spread has been declining, and they had only a fraction (10 out of a possible 140) of people sign up. To me this is ironic, as it was such an epidemic only a few months ago. I guess I posted this to remind people that there is still a struggle with the disease in Africa, and although it's declining, it remains dangerous and active. Most news outlets have moved on, chasing fresher stories, but the struggle continues for many. Check it out here.

So what has RSS Feeds taught me about the digital world? Well it's definitely opened my eyes to a brand new way of accessing information. I, like most people I assume, have a number of my favourite sites bookmarked at the top of my browser. I thought that was the easiest and most convenient way to navigate the web quickly. But Feedly takes that process a step further. By positioning all that information within a single source, it takes so much of the hassle out of browsing the internet. While I mainly have an interest in it for personal reasons, I'm going to try to apply it more directly to my academic life as well.

RSS will be added to my PLE. After just a few days of using it, I'm already completely sold on the idea. And the amount of sites that have bought in to the concept is great to see as well. I'm constantly noticing the icon wherever I end up on the web.

Where does it fit in on my PLE? Well, I will add it as a kind of conduit I guess. All the websites, blogs, news sites, forums, etc., that I use will now be connected through Feedly. It simply adds another layer to the design. I think everyone who is serious about there PLE, whether for academic, professional, or personal reasons, should add a RSS Reader element to it.

I'll close this week off on a bit of a tangent. And way off topic, but this is my blog, right?

How could you call that play Seahawks? You had the game in the bag! You had two downs to get it in! When has anyone stopped Lynch for less than a yard twice in a row? Patriots, you did not win that game. The Seahawks lost it.

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