Tuesday, 20 March 2012

RSS Feeds and Other Great Tools

This is an interesting set of images of murals on buildings in Sheffield, Tasmania.  This set includes images that depict the Parable of the Sower on the Sheffield Bible Chapel.  A further search on the Flickr site reveals that this town is famous for the murals on many of its buildings.  Obtaining an account on Flickr is free.  Many of the images and slideshows can be shared by embedding the slideshow, as I have done here.  One can also subscribe to RSS feeds to receive new images by favorite photographers.

Speaking of RSS feeds, Google Reader is an excellent application to use for keeping up with new information from your favorite sites.  Here is a screenshot of my Google Reader page where you can see the RSS subscriptions in the left pane.

Another great site is Delicious.  This site draws on a vast collection of bookmarks, videos, blogs, tweets, etc., contributed by its many users.  A tremendous amount of time can be saved through the use of this great tool rather than randomly searching the Internet.  Your free subscription allows you to search and organize into files called Stacks.  Here is a link to a set of bookmark tags by Rodd Lucier, The Clever Sheep.

RSS feeds are very useful in websites that want to remain informative and up to date.  I maintain the website for our elementary school and use RSS feeds for a variety of reasons.  For example, our Homepage has an RSS feed for the local weather, our News page has an RSS news feed from a local radio news station, and other pages have RSS feeds on inspirational topics and health.  Here are a couple of screenshots from our website as examples:

All of these tools can be used enhance the Internet experience for anyone.  Teachers will find them especially useful for gathering information in a manner that will be less time consuming than performing new individual searches every time materials or information is needed.  Students will become more excited with exercising creativity while developing organizational and time management skills.  Parents will be thankful for being able to access current information without having to search beyond your website or blog.

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