RSS in Education

Week 4 Assignment

This week we were tasked with creating an original lesson plan that incorporates the use of RSS feeds in a creative and enhancing way.

Summary:
I wrote a lesson plan for professional development training of Facilitators at the School in the Park (SITP) program. In the lesson, the facilitators are guided step by step on how to create Gmail and Digg accounts, download and install the Digg Extension for Chrome, download a SITP specific feed file (that includes feeds from various museums in Balboa Park) and how to add feeds themselves. In addition to RSS feeds, the Facilitators are also lead through the steps of how to subscribe to e-newsletters and blogs if an RSS feed is unavailable. The purpose of the lesson is to provide Facilitators with a system in which they can stay informed about news and events surrounding the museums the SITP program is affiliated with. Ultimately the goal is to have facilitators provide that knowledge to our students to encourage them to return to the park outside of the SITP hours.

Reflections:
This assignment really stumped me at first. I have never written a lesson plan before and in my job I am usually building on a lesson plan someone else created by adding tech to enhance it. Starting from scratch was a new experience for me and I learned a lot. I asked for advice from my co-workers, as I am lucky enough to be surrounded by educators but not many of them had experience with RSS.
I decided to think about who could best use this technology at our program and landed on Facilitator training for a couple reasons. Part of the SITP mission is to encourage students to return to Balboa Park outside of SITP hours. The park is a really busy place and there is so many changing exhibitions and events happening but it is difficult to know what is coming up and happening. RSS seemed like a perfect solution for keeping someone informed and our ‘boots on the ground’ are the Facilitators so I thought they should really be the ones to benefit from this kind of tech.
To be honest, I didn’t really think much of RSS feeds when I first discovered them. However, I am glad that I got to look at it again a bit more in depth through this class and realize the potential. This is a technology almost everyone can utilize to their benefit. I still get a little overwhelmed by the feeds as it can be a lot of information to sift through but I guess it is more motivating to look at it all in one place.
Overall, this assignment took much more time and reading than the previous ones for me. I asked for advice from many friends and I still struggled to pull it together in time. I am eager to hear the feedback from my classmates as well as the instructor Barbara because I am not at all certain my approach to the lesson plan and specifically the objectives was correct. There seemed to be several differing ways to write an objective. Breaking it down into three main parts was helpful but I am still not sure I am on the right track.

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