Online Aggregation Tools I <3

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mashable.com

Picture taken from Mashable.com June 19, 2013

For the sake of not being redundant or digitally and metaphorically beating a dead horse, I will refer to my previous post singing the praises of Feedly as an online aggregation tool.

Using Feedly, I am able to customize the news that is collected and easily filter through information that is not necessarily relevant or pertinent to my work as a teacher. Prior to exploring Feedly, I primarily used GoogleReader to explore blogs that I was interested in professionally and personally. Anything from fashion, to cooking, to fitness, to more school-relates issues such as multiculturalism, social justice, or standardized tests were the basis for the often unmanageable amount of information that was caught in my feed. The irony is not lost on me that the very tool that I was using to collect and organize information is the one that often collected and organized a little too well resulting in an overwhelming amount of information to sift through.

It is important to remember the simple fact when collecting and aggregating information using something like Feedly, that you are able to read as much or as little information as possible. When I first started using Feedly, I would feel guilty marking items as read en masse if I didn’t get the chance to read them. I felt like I was cheating on an assigned reading for some non-existent class I was enrolled in, or that I was going to miss out on something vital to my development as a professional. Hopefully, you are not as emotional or sentimental about your online aggregation as I, but if you are, it is important to retain the personal aspect to your feed. This is information that is collected for you. You can read it all or dismiss it all with just the click of a button.

For more information on Feedly, check out these two links:

Why I Love Feedly: The Best RSS Reader.  Both provide good, solid background and food-for-thought bits about how and really why to use Feedly.

While I would love to use Feedly for more professional or public reasons than just for my personal readership, I do not know how Feedly would translate to publishing my feed to others. While it is great at collecting information, I am unfamiliar how will it would work for allowing others to access this information in a manageable format, something necessary for curating and publishing a digital magazine. For this, I think I would like to troubleshoot Scoop.It, a site that boasts that “You are the Content You Publish”. My preliminary playing-around-with ScoopIt seems to be similar to Feedly in organizing information, but then allows the opportunity to share this information with others via social media or through a “Google Splash Page”. I am not sure what that is, but it sounds like something I would be interested in! Here is a quick (really quick) animation of how ScoopIt works:

I think that I would be able to use this to add a balance of well known teachers or educational gurus that I follow on my Feedly such as Grant WigginsEric Sheninger, Vicky Davis (The Cool Cat Teacher), as well as news articles from the Huffington Post, Education Week, or professional organizations like the ASCD. Having a balance between individuals and organizations, professional bloggers and teachers who share their ideas on the side, for me, is critical to getting a well-rounded look at teaching today.

Perhaps this is the most valuable thing about connecting digitally to other teachers, in that teaching no longer needs to be something done in isolation or something that you have to work through on your own. Reaching out to and understanding others’ experiences and how they connect to your own is probably the best benefit to aggregating information.

 

 

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