Creating RSS Feeds

News feeds -- Video screencast and images coming...

One of the more powerful features of the YWP digital classrooms is their ability to allow teachers to bring in refined search material for students to read and reflect upon. Students can look at a "feed" from say, the New York Times, follow the link to read the article, come back and click the blue 'b' beside the feed's headline, and it automatically calls up the 'Create a Blog' form, inserts the article's headline in the title, adds a summary, link and source in the body, and the student can then reflect.

When she/he saves it, anyone viewing the reflection can click the link to read the article or information that was the basis for the reflection.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Go to the information/news site and find their RSS feed links and info.
  2. Copy the url feed address (NOT the web site address)
  3. Go to your digital classroom site and hover over FEEDS and click Add a Feed
  4. Give the feed a title, paste in the url and save.
  5. You will now see a list of feeds, click UPDATE beside your new feed.
  6. You should now see a number beside the title of the feed indicating that stories have been brought in.
  7. Click the feed title to view.

An additional step BEFORE or AFTER you create the feed, if you wish:

  1. First add a CATEGORY for your feed, say, Science News or whatever you feel will help identify the type of feeds you are bringing in.
  2. Add the new feed.
  3. OR edit an existing feed and select the new category.

The search companies really want you to come back to their site, so they make doing an RSS feed a little tricky. BUT THAT'S OK, we'll outsmart them:

  • In (this powers yahoo search), you need to do your search, and when you're happy with the results (and DO check what you are actually getting with your search) then do this: AT THE END OF THE URL in your address bar for your search, insert these words:    &format=rss   and then click return. That should bring up the ugly RSS feed. COPY that address and use that as your url in your "Add a News Feed."
  • In it is a lot more complicated. For the simplistic method, do your search, click on "News" so it only pulls up latest news on your topic, then scroll down for the happy little RSS button and do the same drill. FYI, google really wants you to use Google Alert and Google Reader, so pulling it in is a bit of a chore ... another day.