RSS feeds are a great way to keep track of what’s new. I use Google Reader, but there are many other ways to read RSS feeds. You can even bring feeds into Outlook. If you’re unfamiliar with RSS feeds, start with this post about Google Reader.
Here I’m going to talk about how you can push RSS feeds to your students via your website or CMS (e.g., Angel).
This is from my personal web page. Everything in the box comes from the American Psychological Association (APA). Every time APA updates their news feed, the content in this box is updated. If you visit my website and click any of those titles, you’ll be taken to the full article.
How to do it
I use a service called RSSInclude. After you set up a free account, you’ll be given the opportunity to create a new RSSbox. You’ll be given a few templates to choose from. The box you see above is “the simple vertical list.”
Next, you’re asked for the URL of the feed. To find it, look for the little orange icon. On APA’s website, for example, there’s a “News & Events” section. It’s there where you can find the RSS feed URL I used to create the above RSSbox. Following that link, I was given the option to choose from a number of feeds. I chose this one: http://psycport.apa.org/siteware/rssfeed.xml.
Here I’ve entered the feed URL.
After clicking “Add Feed,” this is what you get. Now click “Content and Styling Options.”
Now you can jazz it up a bit. Decide what title you’d like, the number of entries you want to appear in your box, the size of the box, the color of the font and the background, and so on.
Once you have it looking as you’d like, click the “save and preview” button at the bottom of the page. Do you like how it looks? It’s ready to go live!
Create as many RSSboxes as you’d like. In addition to the PsycPORT news feed, I also have an RSSbox that imports content from our psych department website. (Our website is built using WordPress, a popular blogging platform, so any new content is automatically dropped into an RSS feed.)
Try it out. If you run into any problems, let me know!