Thoughts on different technologies to use in the classroom...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Google Reader

I wanted to reflect just a little on Google Reader.  I had never used this tool before this blog project.  I find that it is just one more aspect of Google that keeps me as a fan.  I love that I can look at my list and see who has updated their blog and I can read the entries and mark them as unread if I want to go back to it, or mark them as read.  There is a feature that lets you "like" an entry- I used this a few times when I liked an entry and there was something I wanted to go back to later, but I really did not have anything to comment or add to the discussion.
I added a star to one entry that I want to go back to, and Google Reader will let me show just that entry in my list if I choose that option from the top of my menu bar.
One thing I did not like is that I had trouble accessing blog entry comments, or even determining if there were comments.  The only way I found to access the comments of other blogs was to go to the blog directly.  This was a bit cumbersome at times, especially if I just wanted to read the comments without adding one.
I discovered that Google Reader, under Explore,  suggested other popular Ed Tech blogs that I might be interested in subscribing to.  I did check them out and found that 2 looked interesting and subscribed to those, but ignored another 3 that were suggested. 
Last, it is easy to create folders that allow the reader to organize the blogs they follow.  I found this helpful as I added other blogs to my list that I want to follow, yet I could keep them separate from my classmate's blogs.
I can see potential uses in the classroom.  A teacher could make a list of blogs with information relevant to a topic in order  for students to research information using blogs instead of the more traditional online databases.  Students could also choose a topic of their own and then make a list of blogs to follow.  I am not sure that my students this year could keep up with such an assignment, but it is something to keep in mind for the future.
I hope to keep up with following my blog list by using Google Reader.  I have learned so much; I want to keep it up!

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