It’s been a slow week here in Stratford so I’ve been installing RSS reader software on the student computers. My thinking is that, so often we ask our students to search the Web to find a story or text to read and discuss and, so often, the majority of their time is spent searching and very little choosing something useful or worthwhile. Asking them to use an RSS reader with subscriptions to a limited number of websites or blogs is a way of guiding them towards places with good quality English and saving time.
My preferred RSS reader for some time now has been GreatNews from CurioStudios. However, after spending a little time at Download.com, I eventually settled on a program called RSS Bandit for my colleagues and our students.
Despite it’s slightly off-putting name and rather laborious installation procedure, RSS Bandit is a fully-featured RSS reader with a clear, friendly user interface. Like most similar programs, you can subscribe to feeds on one computer then export those as a single file which can be imported into the program on another computer. This saves a lot of time if you want several computers all set up with the same RSS feeds.
The next stage, of course, is training for my colleagues and to see how it gets used in the classroom.