Parent Technology & Literacy Coffee Morning Recap: RSS

We had another successful Parent Coffee Morning today! With about 30 parents, we had slightly smaller turnout than our average for these practical monthly sessions. But don’t worry, we’re already planning a hands-on session to help parents set up their own RSS reader sometime in April, so if you missed this morning, you can catch a more in-depth session soon.

We started our discussion with a quick introduction to RSS, Common Craft style (as usual):

Then, our discussion focused on how parents here at YIS can make use of this exciting technology to keep track of what their children are learning and the most recent news from our teachers. Basically, as parents, you can:

  1. Create your own RSS reader (we recommend Google Reader because that’s what the students will be using)
  2. Visit the YIS Learning Hub, and select your child’s school division (Elementary, Middle or High)
  3. Copy the URL (website address) of the divisional blog you want to follow
  4. Paste that same URL into the “Add Subscription” button on Google Reader

Repeat steps 1 – 4 for each Teacher Blog you want to follow (also found on the divisional blogs), as well as your child’s own blog.

Now all the news from school will be delivered right to you!

This is a great way to keep in touch with what your child is learning, as well as helping them keep track of homework assignments and projects. Of course, you can also take advantage of all of these blogs by leaving comments for students and teachers – this can help us keep the lines of communication between school and home open around the clock (but please don’t expect responses 24 hours a day).

Parents loved this because:

  • Now they can see every time their child writes a new blog post (no nagging needed).
  • They can keep a close eye on what their child is learning and reflecting on – these student blogs will eventually become electronic portfolios of your child’s learning.
  • They can keep up with what assignments and projects are assigned and upcoming – by the start of next year, all YIS teachers will have a blog.
  • The Middle and High School Daily Bulletin can be read using an RSS reader – so all the announcements come to you.
  • Our very own Technology and Literacy Coffee Mornings re-caps are posted on a blog – now if you miss a session, you can catch up in minutes!

This combination of blogs and RSS is incredibly powerful. We will be teaching all secondary students how to manage their own Google Reader account next year when we begin the Connected Learning Community.

As always, thank you so much for attending and participating this morning! It’s our pleasure to continue to share new ideas and uses of technology tools with you!

Next Meeting: Our next meeting will be Wednesday, April 6, 9:15 – 10:15 in the Cafeteria. We will focus our session on an exciting tool that many of our students and teachers are using regularly, VoiceThread. VT is a very simple to use, web-based, tool that allows students to upload images or videos and then record their voice. What’s so special about VT is that completed Threads can be published online, allowing other students, teachers and parents to watch and listen and leave their own comment! We’ll share some ways that VT is being used here at YIS and help you create your own account so that you can leave comments too!