When Katia advised us in Tuesday’s class to get a Feedly, I was excited like most but I didn’t really process the ways in which Feedly would benefit me outside of looking up resources for education. For some reason, I didn’t realize the plethora of blogs out there that I actually read on Twitter – when they show up on my feed, anyway – and so I thought that Feedly might just be a source I used for this class and that afterwards, I might not have much use for except for looking up education blogs. I was definitely wrong on that count! When I looked at the list of blogs that Katia follows on Feedly, I started to realize that Feedly doesn’t have to be only work related; instead, I could follow other things that interested me! (I really don’t know why I didn’t realize this to begin with; I swear, I’m in university). And, that brings me to the title: if you have anything with a pressing deadline to do, don’t go on Feedly because You’ll Never Get Anything Done. It’s addicting; I spent an hour on it this afternoon just reading fun stuff on Buzz Feed. All in all, Feedly is a great source for resources and between this and Netflix, I don’t know how I’ll ever get anything done again.
So far, I have five categories that Feedly divided the blogs I follow into. I have news, fun, gossip, technology, education, sports and news. One of the things that I like about Twitter is my ability to follow some of these companies (like Buzzfeed, or BBC) because they post the articles they produced about stuff I’m interested in. Thus, in this respect, Feedly is kind of the same as Twitter; it allows you to follow people/companies that blog about stuff you are interested in. But, Feedly is a little better because a) not all the people who write blogs are on Twitter and post their articles and b) some people/companies don’t post all the articles that they produce.
When I first logged onto Feedly, I clicked on the different categories that interested me under “Editor’s Choice“. There were more than enough suggestions under things like “Tech,” “Education,” and “News” that interested me and so I just clicked follow when I came across those blogs. In particular, once I had gone through all the suggestions that Feedly offered me under “Education,” I decided I wanted to explore a bit more and so I entered hashtags such as #edtech #teaching and #tech into the search engine when I clicked “Add Content” on the left tool bar. By searching these hashtags, I was able to look at more blogs that I might be interested in as Feedly gave me a computer generated list based on these hashtags. To decide if these blogs were worth following, I would read one or two of their articles and, if I liked them, I would follow them.
One of the blogs that I followed that I really like so far is called Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. The reason why I like this blog is that, in this day and age, 90% of students have cellular devices; if I had to, I’d guess that more students have access to cellphones than they do computers. (In a household, for example, the ratio of people to computers may be 4:1 whereas many kids now have their own cellphone). Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, then, is basically just a blog designed to enhance students’ learning and to increase their engagement level through, mostly, apps that can be bought at the Appstore. It really is amazing how many apps are out there in the appstore and I know that I, as the consumer, get overwhelmed at all the options; I like this blog because it picks out the most helpful apps and explains why it might be worth it to try it out in the classroom. I know that cellphone use in class is a derisive subject but I think a lot of people’s opinions of it might change if the student was able to use them to actually enhance their learning. For example, in this blog post, some of the best English Grammar Learning apps are put on display, ones that could help foreign students who do not know English. Especially in Regina, where there are a huge amount of EAL students, apps such as these could be useful. Of course, no technology, in my opinion, could compete with a teacher helping you side-by-side but apps such as these are nice complements to learning in the school. There are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to the logistics of allowing students to use cellphones in the classroom but I’m hoping that, while sorting these out, educators are still able to see the potential advantages of using these sorts of apps.
Attached you’ll see the different categories and blogs I follow on my Feedly! Anyone have any more suggestions of who/what to follow?