What is RSS

RSS (abbreviation for Really Simple Syndication) is a family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format. RSS allows readers the ability to subscribe to content from news sites, video sites, etc...and bring them to one location. RSS feeds can be read using software called an "RSS reader", "feed reader", or "aggregator" Popular examples of aggregators or readers are Google Reader and Bloglines.

RSS in Plain English by Common Craft

Classroom Uses of RSS

Making announcements: Do you always remember something after class that you wanted to say during class? Keep a class blog site for announcements and assignments. Every time you update it, students will be able to view the update via their RSS aggregators.
Reading students’ blogs: In a blogging classroom, RSS eliminates the need to go to each individual student blog; instead, they come to you. You can read through students’ blogs in half the time. You can also use RSS to keep track of comments left on student blog posts.
Get updates on the latest news in your field: Google ( or yahoo ( news advanced search will give you a feed to subscribe to that will update your reader whenever your search topic has new articles locatable on the web.
Combine with a social bookmarking site like to create feeds for specific tags. If you create a unique tag for a specific class, then any bookmarks you (or anybody) adds with that tag will be automatically fed to both your RSS reader and your students’.

Google Reader

Video on Getting Started in Google Reader from Google Reader Help

Many more great videos availabe on YouTube for Google Reader.


To subscribe to a feed in Reader:

  • Click the Add Subscription link in your left-hand sidebar.
  • Enter the URL of the blog or site you'd like to subscribe to.
Most blogs have feed autodiscovery enabled, meaning the site will automatically tell Reader where to find a blog's feed. If this doesn't work, you'll have to add the URL of a site's feed directly. Find the RSS logo on the site in question, click it, and copy and paste the link into the 'add subscription' box. If you can't find an RSS logo on the site, the site may not offer RSS feeds.

Info from Google Reader Help

How do I create a public page

The easiest way to make a public page is to start sharing items in your reading list. When you're reading an article that you want to include in your public page, just click the Share link at the bottom of the article in Google Reader. The icon will turn orange to indicate that it's being shared.
To see the public page containing your shared items, click the Shared items link. You'll see a list of everything you've chosen to share, along with a link to the page where they are displayed. That's the link you'll give to people who want to read your shared items.
You can also create public pages for your starred or tagged items. Although, since these items are private by default, you'll need to make them public first. Here's how:
  1. Click the Settings link.
  2. Click Tags.
  3. Use the check boxes to select the tag you want to share. There's also an option for your starred items, if you want to share those instead.
  4. From the Change Sharing... menu, select Public.
Anything you've made public will now have a public page associated with it. Just click the view public page link next to any public tag to see how it looks.
Info from Google Reader Help

Video on Google Web Search RSS

Examples of Readers

Google Reader