This month’s Parent Technology & Literacy Coffee Morning was fantastic!
We offered a hands-on session for parents to bring their own laptops and get set up with a new tool: RSS. We love these hands-on sessions because parents are able to walk away from the session having accomplished something which will help them stay informed about their child’s learning. We focused on RSS this month because it’s a great way to keep up with all of the news shared on teacher and classrooms blogs housed on The Learning Hub.
We are very proud that all of our YIS teachers now have a blog on The Learning Hub where they share updates from their classes, homework and assignments, and new ideas and resources for students to engage with. Because each teacher has their own blog, this means that parents (and students) need to keep up with a variety of different blogs. That’s where RSS comes in!
Before RSS, you would have to go to each and every blog every day to see if something new has been posted. Instead, you can use an RSS Reader (we recommend Google Reader, because that’s what our students use), to receive all of the new updates in one place – kind of like e-mail for blogs and websites. Here’s another great Common Craft video to explain RSS:
So, once you’re ready to set up your own reader account, here are the steps:
- Go to Google Reader
- If you already have a Gmail account, sign in. If you don’t, you can create a Google account here (you can use any e-mail with this account).
- Once you’re logged in to Google Reader, you need to find the blogs you want to subscribe to, go to The Learning Hub
- Choose the division of YIS your child is in (ES, MS, HS)
- Browse the list of teachers on the right and select one of your child’s teachers, click on their name
- At the very top of the teachers’ blog is the URL (web address), copy it
- Go back to Google Reader
- Click on the subscribe button in the upper left
- Paste the teacher’s blog URL
- Done! You are now subscribed to that teacher’s blog
- Repeat steps 5 – 9 for all of your child’s teachers
Now you have all of your child’s teachers’ blogs in your Google Reader and you can easily check them all in one place.
If you have more than one child, you might want to create folders in your Google Reader account for each child. To do this:
- Go to Google Reader
- Click on any of the subscriptions on the left
- At the top of the screen choose the “Feed Settings” dropdown menu and select “New Folder”
- Give the folder a name (the name of your child is probably easiest)
- Done! You have now created a folder for one of your childrens’ teachers’ blogs
- You can easily add more blogs into that fold by clicking on each subscription at the left (one at a time) and selecting your new folder from the “Feed Settings” dropdown menu
- Repeat steps 2 – 4 for each of your children to create the folder, then repeat step 6 to add the right subscriptions to the right folder
- You can always take a subscription out of a folder by unchecking it in the “Feed Settings” menu
All of the parents who attended the session were able to complete this set-up. In the future, we’re going to add some advanced features, like subscribing only to posts about a certain class on a teacher’s blog!
Please join us next time for another hands-on Parent Technology & Literacy Coffee Morning! Our next meeting will be Wednesday, February 1 2012 in the Cafeteria. We will focus on using Google Calendars to keep track of homework and assignments. This is another great new feature of our Learning Hub blogs! Many teachers are posting assignments and deadlines using Google Calendar, which you (and your children) can subscribe to. Now you can have all of your calendars in one place, and you can keep up with the assignments and deadlines for each class your child is taking!