Like many others out there, I was left scrambling for a new reader when Google abandoned theirs. The new reader not only needed to provide the content that I followed, but be allowed by my school’s web filtering. After trying out several different options I settled on the one that wasn’t blocked and seemed to work – ighome. This reader worked fairly well for most of the sites I followed…until the last couple months of school, when the entire “Blog” category was blocked. I tried some different tactics, like using Outlook’s RSS option. This allowed the notifications for new content but still blocked the articles. I found the article RSS: The next killer app for education by Mary Harrsch had two great suggestions that are directly applicable.
The first was the suggestion that using a reader would be useful for administrator’s to keep up with the updates for each school site. This may help the “powers that be” in my district understand the value of unblocking the blog category and filter for content. The second thing that caught my attention was using a scraping utility to create your own unique feed, even if the content doesn’t have a reader option. A Google search for “RSS feed scraping utility” provided several current solutions. I like the notion of being able to create and customize what is usable to me, not the masses.
Next, were the two Digital Native readings that were rather timely, since I recently had a “discussion” about what a digital native is. I read Prensky’s article first and was thinking one of us needed a reality check! One of us was way off base, because he certainly hadn’t met many of my students. While I have noticed a change in students over the past twenty some years, I could not bring myself to agree with him. Then, I read the article Digital Nativism: Digital Delusions and Digital Deprivation by McKenzie and my world was back on its axis. It was good to know I wasn’t the only one who had problems with Prensky’s article. McKenzie pointed out the inaccuracies of the Digital Nativism article by citing different studies and then related the overstatements to the digital divide and the impact of digital deprivation.
McKenzie, J. (2007). Digital nativism: Digital delusions and digital deprivation. From Now On, 17(2). Retrieved from http://fno.org/nov07/nativism.html
Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants – Part II: Do they really think differently? On the Horizon, 9(6). Retrieved from http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf