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aalexander
Community Participant

RSS feeds in Canvas

Wondering if people have heard anecdotes of teachers using RSS feeds in their courses, ie for content curation for example, I haven't tried adding RSS to Announcements, anyone using that tool? Want to know what is current with this before getting started

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9 Replies
laurakgibbs
Community Champion

Thanks, awilliams‌ ... and yes,  @aalexander ‌I am very interested in RSS! I run a student blog network, and I use Inoreader to do all my RSS-in and RSS-out. It is a really wonderful tool. It allows you to combine and filter feeds in any way you want, and to send that back out via RSS or using an HTML clipping view.

If you let me know more about the kinds of content curation you are interested in, I'll be glad to suggest how Inoreader can make that work. I am a fan!

In addition to the blog RSS link that Adam provided there, I've got some posts at my blog about how I use Inoreader:

Inoreader – Teaching with Canvas 

It even aggregates Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, changing that content into RSS that you can mix with other RSS content! Super-powerful. 🙂

aalexander
Community Participant

I am thinking of how I used to use the RSS block in Moodle to link to a Diigo group for example.  That way I could have fresh content for students to browse daily.  How does the RSS feed work in announcements? I added three different feeds, so, do those just show up as emails? I was hoping for something that would live in Canvas

I don't know how Moodle RSS blocks worked but if they were just links (that is usually how standard RSS feed widgets work, like in blog sidebars), then you might get more student uptake by using Diigo RSS via Inoreader, which does a full HTML display, including an image (if you've added an image to the Diigo bookmark), plus your annotations.

Here's a demo of that in Canvas; it's a live feed of Diigo bookmarks via RSS using Inoreader to do that:

Diigo RSS: Feedback Resources: CanvasLIVE Playground 

I proceed on the assumption that images are important attention-getters for my students, and I really like how Diigo lets you upload an image to go with a bookmark. I don't do it for all my bookmarks, but I do it for the ones I am expecting that students might browse.

Here's a step-by-step of how I get the live Diigo feed to appear in Canvas:

CanvasLIVE Playground: Notes. Diigo-in-Canvas 

You could also have it appear not in a page but in a Discussion Board... so if you want students to browse and COMMENT on the articles they choose, that might be cool. That's just a random idea (I don't use the Discussion Boards in Canvas; all my students are blogging, so that's where the interaction takes place.)

I got curious about how that would look and it looks good I think! Here is a live Diigo RSS feed (live in the sense that newly bookmarked items show up automatically; Inoreader refreshes 10 minutes) which students could browse as a Discussion Board prompt. It displays the most recent 7 items and there's a link at the bottom of the scroll to display the next seven and so on. 🙂

Diigo Discussion

aalexander
Community Participant

Now that is hot stuff!! Fabulous!

 @aalexander  ha ha, I am seriously Inoreader's biggest fan. I use their ability to combine feeds from different platforms to do this "omnifeed" on my homepage:

Laura Gibbs websites 

(it pulls from my blogs, Google+, and my two Twitters, combining it all and sending it back out as RSS; this is the full view, as opposed to the magazine style)

I also use Inoreader to manage my student blog network; lots of info about that here:

Inoreader – Teaching with Canvas 

So, for example, I use Inoreader to automatically sort my students' blog posts by assignment (based on keyword in subject line) and then gives me a feed to display; this is in my wiki, but same thing would work in Canvas - here is the feed for the storytelling posts in my Myth class:

Online Course Wiki / mfstorytelling 

(again, that's full view, not magazine style)

Inoreader released this "magazine style" for the HTML clippings view of RSS feeds last summer, and I found it was perfect for using in Canvas, like in that Diigo example above.

If you decide to give Inoreader a try and have any questions or just want to brainstorm ideas, ping me here. It allows for so many creative uses. It also works with IFTTT if you want to repost things to a blog, to Pinterest, etc. etc. If you can dream it up, Inoreader can probably do it. 🙂

aalexander
Community Participant

I tried this but no go, did all the steps, and some sort of object appears in the canvas page, but it doesn't show up when I save it 😆

Hi  @aalexander  ! I replied at the blog post too: THANK YOU for helping me find what I think is the problem.

Inoreader is unusual in that it does not default to https, so I think you probably just need to change the http://www.inoreader.com in the iframe address for the feed to https://www.inoreader.com

I remember making that mistake myself, and I forgot to update that in the instructions. I just added that to the instructions now and double-checked by adding another one of my Inoreader feeds to a Canvas page, and it was working fine, so I hope that is the snag you ran into.

Fingers crossed...! If you can let me know, that would be great... and then I will need to doublecheck any other place where I have Inoreader instructions to make sure I remember to alert people about http v https