Via Blogs for Learning, a new site from Michigan State, comes this pretty interesting article “The Technology of Reading and Writing in the Digital Space: Why RSS is crucial for a Blogging Classroom” by David Parry from the University of Albany. It has a higher ed slant, but is very relevant to younger students as well. Some relevant quotes from the article:
- “One of the most significant concerns about using blogs in the classroom is that students often feel as if they are doing the same writing, just placing it on the web. Since context determines meaning, the method and message of writing necessarily changes as students compose for the internet; however, many academics fail to convey this information to students.”
- “If one simply transfers the “book-way” of writing onto the digital space, students have learned little that they could not have gained from more traditional writing assignments. The situation may even be worse than one of unnecessary reconfiguration, for in the digital medium, writing often produces technological frustrations which, if not offset by other gains, leads to negative experiences for the students. Since the context of writing has shifted in the digital, it is important to demonstrate to student how authorship itself has shifted in the age of the digital.”
- “To write â€œwellâ€ in this space students need to learn not only how to cite and link, but indeed to package their writings in a different way. RSS helps accomplish this goal.”
- “The speed of reading in the age of the digital has changed, and we need to help students navigate this…Reading on the internet requires two separate skills: one, the quick analysis to find what is worth reading, and the second, a switch to slow analysis to carefully consider what has been found. What RSS does is allow students to make this distinction, to receive content as “bits” easy to scan, and then to select what they want to read.”
I think it’s great to see some more pedagogy centered articles about RSS coming out.
Clarence Fisher says
RSS is quickly turning into one of the most valuable tools that kids in my class have. They love the ability to sort, to go from quick reading to saving things for later reflection and scanning. I also agree that RSS is important to establish the idea of audience and community with kids. Digital writing has “paper roots,” but needs to “earn its wings” for our kids to see its true value to make learning different.
Steve Hooker says
Pity you don’t fix your truncated feeds. There’s always plenty of other feeds in my aggregator which are easier for me to read and pay attention to.
Sorry, but you’re often slipping through my attention net.
Andrew Pass says
RSS is a lot like a table of contents on all of the knowledge that one finds fit to know. Not a bad thing. (I know this isn’t originally my metaphor but maybe I’ve added a slant to it.)