For the online learning world


Letting the outside world into your classroom

One of the many lessons I have learned over my years of working in education, is to remember to bring the outside into the classroom.

There are lots of ways to do that, whether it be guest speakers, excursions, work experience, getting students to bring things in, all sorts! But an easy starting point is RSS feeds into your online classroom space.

I remember reading about RSS being old technology that was going out the window, but I have to say that news feeds are still incredibly powerful at helping connect what students are learning about with the real world.  They invite conversations that link theory with practice, and all too often give real examples of what can go wrong.

If you are using Moodle, it is very easy to add an RSS feed to your course (turn editing on, add a block, remote RSS feeds).

If you haven’t done it before but have a relevant news provider for the industry relevant to your teaching, you are looking for and you need to get the URL for the feed.

The URL (that is the web address) for the RSS feed will start with “http://” and usually ends with “.xml”.

Blogs often have RSS output, and there might be an RSS feed on one of your favourite industry websites, so go looking and bring the outside world into your classroom.

Source: Tabitha’s WordPress Blog

Miriam Laidlaw
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Miriam Laidlaw

Miriam works with all areas of e-learning technology and is particularly interested in instructional design, graphic design, and Moodle.

One thought on “Letting the outside world into your classroom

  • Gosh, RSS is such an old and yet still useful technology eh? It’s perhaps the middle ‘S’ of Really Simple Syndication that has meant RSS has stayed around so long. Yes there are twitter feeds, and Facebook API’s, and goodness knows how many other technologies available, but it’s a bit like IMAP for email, it just works SO well there is always place for it!


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