Australia is a big place (doh), and I am challenged to be able to get a sense of issues, challenges, dynamics, concerns, wishes, nightmares, strange habits (!) of educators I will meet there. I rely heavily on RSS for being informed, and I am more or less in love with scanning feeds in Google Reader.
It struck my last night, after a serendipitous Skype chat with Alexander Hayes, that I ought to start more focused reading of some Australia educator blogs. The nice thing about Google Reader (well one nice thing among many) is that instead of creating folders for fixed bins to organize feeds, you simply tag them to mix and match into different groups. So I could rummage through my educational technology feeds, and just add a tag for a new group I called “aussie” for ones I was already following, like Angela Thomas, Gary’s rambles, jo kay, James Farmer, Sean Fitzgerald – okay, hardly the comprehensive guide to edubloggers at all. So I visited a few of these and grabbed a few more from their blog roll.
But I need more to help better inform me. Send me your suggested reads for Australia educators in the know who are regular bloggers.
But there’s more to do with Google Reader! With these feeds set as a “tag”, I can go into my Settings and in the tags tab, I can set this group of feeds to be “shared” or public:
This does three neat things- I get a link I can share to a page that always features the latest news stories form all these feeds; this in turn has an RSS feed I can use elsewhere, and the “add a clip” to your site provides some code I can use to embed the feed headlines on another web site. now since Google is connected to Blogger, they have a direct route to add a widget to one of those sites (see my Blogger lab area, CogDogHouse, a place I use just to demo features; the sidebar features the same headlines from this group of feeds).
Wait a minute, I can use an RSS widget in WordPress.com, so I can use that on this site, and voila, down the side of this blog are the latest posts form this feed set, the RSS feed, and the title links to the public page.
I am still 1000% convinced that having that sixth sense for using RSS is an absolute skill that can get you ahead. In many of my presetnations about technology, I admit to the myth that many technology people have this song and dance about “technology saving you time” and that we are really all liars about that– RSS is really the one thing I feel confident that mastering the basics can absolutely save you time in terms of staying up to date with the resources in the areas that matter to you.
But hey, I know I am missing about 1000 good Australia educator blogs– help me! Send ’em my way! My Google reader is Hunnnnnngry.