Week 4 – Blogs, RSS and Flickr

Introduction

By the end of this module you should be able to:

  • Discuss the uses of blogs
  • Set up and maintain a blog
  • Sign up for an RSS reader account and subscribe to RSS feeds
  • Add and share images using Flickr

Task List

1. Blogs and Blogging

  • Visit and read / watch materials on the module page
  • Watch the conversation with Kathy Cassidy (details about asking Kathy questions are provided in this section). The session will be at be at 5 PM EST on Monday February 2, 2015.
  • Post to the discussion forum about Blogging

2. RSS

  • Visit and read / watch materials on the module page

3. Flickr

  • Visit and read / watch materials on the module page

Activities

1. Blogs and Blogging

Blogs (short for Weblogs) give you an opportunity to learn, to share and to engage in a conversation. People blog about their work, families, hobbies, favourite sports team and more. Blogs provide an opportunity to reflect on what you’re working such as your research or classes you’re teaching (or taking). They allow you to share resources and pose questions. Through comments you can provide feedback bloggers or receive it from others on your own blog.

Blogs can also be useful in helping students to improve their communication skills by writing regularly about work their doing in your class from article or book reviews to their experience working as a member of a team on a project.
In his 2004 article Educational Blogging, Stephen Downes said this about student blogging (it applies to all bloggers really):
 “Blogging is about, first, reading. but more important, it is about reading what is of interest to you; your culture, your community, your ideas. And it is about engaging with the content and with the authors of what you have read – reflecting, criticizing, questioning, reacting. If a student has nothing to blog about, it is not because he or she has nothing to write about or has a boring life. It is because the student has not yet stretched out to the larger world, has not yet learned to meaningfully engage in a community. For blogging in education to be a success, this first must be embraced and encouraged.”

Readings

2. RSS

Real Simple Syndication (RSS). The best and most common analogy for RSS is like having a magazine subscription deliver the magazine to your door instead of having to go to the store to see if a new issue is out. If you subscribe to a blog or another sites RSS feed, you’ll get updates in your RSS reader, which is a tool for collecting all of your subscriptions. It’s a time saver because you don’t have to go to a blog, for example, to see if it has been updated. The updates come to you.
The following video by Richard Byrne provides a brief tutorial on how to use Feedly  a popular RSS reader

3. Flickr

In Week 2 you were introduced to the photograph sharing sight Flickr. This week includes a bit more about the tool. While you’ve already learned how to find pictures on Flickr, anyone can also share their pictures on Flickr. Adding your own pictures to Flickr can make it easier to share your images with others as well as embed them into your own blog or other Website.
The following video shows how to upload pictures, determine who may see the pictures and set the copyright restrictions on your pictures.