I think I’m starting to understand why Jenny and so many others are really hot on RSS and its potential. The more I mull over the scenarios of how it might work in the classroom, the more interested I get.
Aside from the rather mundane (at this point) concept of having kids subscribe to different feeds for information gathering and research purposes, the whole idea of using RSS for basically schoolwide communication is really wild. I know that I’m assuming a lot here, like teachers and administrators and parents will a) be open to the technology and b) care enough to use it. But I see some real positives: the ability to receive and generate highly specific information about topics/areas that concern you; the archiving of that information for easy recall; a huge reduction in the need for e-mail; more that I haven’thought of yet. Now I’m starting to understand what CMS really means.
The best part is that I don’t think it’s that far off. But Dave needs to build a few more pieces into the RSS part of Manila to really make it work. First, and maybe this is already a part of it, we’ve got to be able to serve up each category or department as a separate feed. (I keep picturing this long menu list of feeds that we could subscribe to with all those little xml buttons beside it…or maybe something like this.) Also, I think I read somewhere that it’s now possible to comment back to a post right through the aggregator. That’s a must as well…the more seamless the better.
RSS is going to be huge, I think. Dave points to Spartanburg Herald-Journal using it to feed job openings to people. Think of how much time and effort that saves…open up the feed, search for your job key words, done.