Random Thoughts on Instructional Design
If we expect learners to use new technology (and create personal learning networks), we need to spend time teaching the basic skills – writing, collaborative writing, reading web feeds (RSS), podcasting, and searching in the “living web”.
Most of the faculty that I have worked with, feel very comfortable with designing learning units that effectively utilize writing, collaborative writing and searching the web as teaching tools. Where several of them have feared to venture was into harvesting the â€œliving webâ€ of podcasts and RSS feeds. The primary reason for this is that few have a clear understanding of the techniques and even fewer can articulate the uses and benefits to their students.
In the past several months there have been a number of blogs that have clearly defined the benefits of podcasting and even some that have offered tutorials and recommended curriculum. What I found difficult to find until now, was a clear explanation of RSS feeds and how they could be effectively utilized for educational purposes. About a month ago (yes, it took me that long to catch-up on the feeds to which I scribe) Marshall Kirkpatrick wrote a little article titled â€œIntroduction to RSS Syndicationâ€ that provides a very clear and concise explication of feed and how they work. He also uses the link to his blog feed as an opportunity to educate viewers on the possibilities of RSS.