Week 2 WOW Moments: RSS and the Things People Publish…

22 Jun

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.


Harrsch, M. (2003). RSS: The next killer app for education. Technology Source, 6(4). Retrieved from

McKenzie, J. (2007). Digital nativism: Digital delusions and digital deprivation. From Now On, 17(2). Retrieved from

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants – Part II: Do they really think differently? On the Horizon, 9(6). Retrieved from,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf


Posted by on June 22, 2014 in 537


3 responses to “Week 2 WOW Moments: RSS and the Things People Publish…

  1. Michael Barbour

    June 25, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Cheronne, I note that you referenced both Prensky and McKenzie. Did you ahve any specific thoughts about Reeves?

  2. cedwardsbms

    June 25, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    The first time through, the Reeves (2008) article didn’t have anything that really stood out, other than it repeatedly cited Prensky. I went back to reread it and I found some important points that I had overlooked. One thing that stood out this time is on page 11, that people tend to assume digital natives can use technology effectively. According to the article citation of Oblinger & Oblinger, 2005, digital natives’ information literacy skills are very weak. This is something I have been combating as a classroom teacher.

    Another point is on page 13, there is “a middle ground that suggests that how people learn, reason, reflect, and create are robust human capacities that are not unduly influenced by the Information Age.” The article also went on to state that good educational video games can increase cognitive skills. The skills acquired from gaming that impact the workforce are the ability to multi-task, take risk, and leadership (pg 15.) The article did highlight that the net-generation spent more time gaming as opposed to structured use, this could be the reason for the lack of information tech literacy skills.

    For me, it is important to remember not to paint everyone with a broad generational brush. A person born in the Boomer generation may be more comfortable and efficient user of technology than a Net-Gen or Millennial individual. Just because a person was born in a given era does not indicate their acceptance, knowledge, or use of technology.

    Reeves, T.C. (2008). Do generational differences matter in instructional design? Online discussion presentation to Instructional Technology Forum from January 22-25, 2008 at

  3. Michael Barbour

    June 25, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Cheronne, very interesting. For me, the one thing that I take from Reeves is that there is very little that we can say about THIS generation of students that is based on reliable and valid data. Based on Reeves’ review, it seems that Twenge might be one of the few.

    But it is always interesting to see what jumps out to different people based on their own experiences.


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