Wednesday, February 6, 2008 & feeburner email - Tech Integration Synergy





As a technology curriculum integration specialist a large part of my job is locating and sharing online resources with teachers in my district. While I enjoy this task immensely I don't enjoy the process I have had to go through to document this process. Today I finished setting up a system that I hope will eliminate the the cumbersome part of this task, make my work more productive, and increase my communication with teachers.

What I have done is combine the web 2.0 tools of, FeedBlendr, and FeedBurner in such a way that when I tag a link it automatically gets sent to the appropriate teacher in an email.

The reason my searching was cumbersome before was to do this I would have to first copy the link, paste it in an email, address that email, send it, then login to our website, navigate to my curricular links page, add the link there in the correct location, then publish the page. If there was more than one link I wanted to post I would have to do these steps multiple times. In all, I had 10 steps I had to go through for each link I wanted to share and archive. Now, I only have two steps: tag and save.

Here is how I did it:
  1. set up a account
  2. invented unique tags for each subject area and grade level that I would normally find sites for
  3. imported all my bookmarks and favorites as well as those of teachers in the district and tagged their links according to my tagging system
  4. used FeedBlendr to combine feeds of related tags so each teacher can receive in one feed all the links I find relevant to them

  5. Converted the feed to an email with FeedBurner email (located in the "publish" tab on Feedburner)
  6. Created a page on our school website for teachers to subscribe to these emails - I also subscribed all teachers to the Feedblendr feeds using their Bloglines accounts but most teachers still prefer to use email.
  7. I also changed the subfolders on my "curricular links" page to link to relevant tags in my account. This makes for an organized way of locating my archived links.
Next steps:
  1. On my next round of individual teacher meetings I will show each teacher the subscription site and have each one subscribe the the feeds that will be of most use to them.
  2. Search for other educators who have active accounts and start tagging their links
  3. Align these links with state and national standards.
Acknowledgement: I would like to thank Scott Schwister for help in troubleshooting rss to email technical issues.

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