Blogger and Reader

The Crib Sheet:

Google Reader


The Tool:


The Blogger / Google Reader segment will focus on things such as being able to create and locate timely relevant information for your personal use, to send to your staff and to connect with your community of stakeholders.  Google Reader allows you to "turn around the search" in your daily life.  Instead of having to go out and check your favorite web sites for updates or search for specific articles on topics, you can have that information come to you.  "It's like having Netflix for all of your favorite web sites and information."   By subscribing to different feeds research (when needed for research-based decision making), discovering news about the school, and having updates on important topics come to them (as a way to save precious time).

Google Reader:

Search "define:aggregator"

A service that gathers information published by different sources and organizes it together under a common interface.

Search: RSS (Rich Site Summary / Really Simple Syndication)

RSS (most commonly expanded as Really Simple Syndication) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format.[2] An RSS document (which is called a "feed", "web feed",[3] or "channel") includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship. Web feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically. They benefit readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favored websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place. RSS feeds can be read using software called an "RSS reader", "feed reader", or "aggregator", which can be web-based, desktop-based, or mobile-device-based. A standardized XML file format allows the information to be published once and viewed by many different programs. The user subscribes to a feed by entering into the reader the feed's URI or by clicking an RSS icon in a web browser that initiates the subscription process. The RSS reader checks the user's subscribed feeds regularly for new work, downloads any updates that it finds, and provides a user interface to monitor and read the feeds.

Using Blogger and Reader in Schools

The Google Reader User Interface is a basic web interface with an index on the left hand side (1/3 of the page) that provides navigation for the page. (Navigation Pane)  The other 2/3rds of the page is used to display content selected in the navigation bar.  Items can be displayed in a List or an expanded view. (Content Pane)

Navigation Pane:

- All Items:  Will display all of the items currently in your Google Reader account in reverse chronological order.

- Starred Items:  These items are placed in a special list and this is typically used for items you would like to return to at a later date and read more in depth.

- Shared Items:  This is one of the most powerful pieces of Google Reader.  When you share items you think are interesting, there are three different ways these items can be shared.  1) They are automatically shared with people in your friends (in Google) list who have decided to subscribe to your "Shared Items."  2) Your shared items has it's own RSS feed, so someone who does not have a Google Account can subscribe to your "Shared Items."  3) "Your Shared Items" has it's own web page where you can direct people to or have a link from another page to your shared items.  Kyle Brumbaugh's Shared Items

- Notes: Allows you to annotate any feed and when you share these items with others, they can see your notes.

- Trends:  Shows all of the statistics of the feeds you read, including the number of feeds pulled and read per day.  It will also identify statistics for feeds you star, share and place notes on. 

- Friends Shared Items:  This allows you to create a community of people you can share items with.  When you "Follow" you will receive all of their "Shared Items" in this section. 

- Subscriptions: 
This lists all of the items or "feeds" you are subscribed to. If the type is in bold face, it means there are unread items in the feed.  The number of unread items is listed in parentheses to the right of the title of the feed.

Content Pane:

Title: At the top of the content pane, you will see the title of what is displayed in the content pane.  It could be "All Items" or the title of an individual feed from your subscriptions.  You also have the option of displaying the items in the feed in "List View" or "Expanded View."

Actions Line:  The next line will allow you to see how many "New Items" (unread) there are in the feed or subscription.  These items are listed in blue type, so you can use it as a link to only read the "Unread Items."  You can also mark all items as "read," "refresh the feed" to look for new items, or "mark all items read." 

Content:  The majority of this space is used to display content.  Items in this space are listed in reverse chronological order. (Newest at the top)  You can see items that have been starred, when an item was placed in your reader account.  Items added that day, will show the time they were added.  Items in light blue have already been read and items in white with bold type have not yet been read. 

Feed Navigation:  There are buttons at the bottom of the content pane to move to the "Next Item" or go back to the "Previous Item" in the feed. 


Blogger is Google's blogging tool that was started in 1998 as an independent company and was purchased by Google in 2004. It has a basic interface where users can post and customize the look and navigation of their blogs.  Blogger Tour 

Blogger is one of the easiest and most versatile technology tools for teachers, students and administrators to use.  It is this versatility that makes it the one tool everyone should use.  Here's why...

- Access:  You can control who can access your blog in several different ways.  Anyone, Blogger members or only those you select.  You can also control who can comment on a blog post. 

- Ease of Use:
  If you can compose an e-mail, you can use Blogger.  It is also a tool that people can quickly and easily expand their technology skill set. 

- Content:  You can embed images, video and podcasts, quickly and easily.  You can also link to other blogs or Internet accessible information.  You can also upload content from your cell phone! 

- Adding Features:
  Blogger allows you to add content from other sites to your Blogger page. 

What are the educational uses for blogs?

- Principal's Message:  Allows the Principal to quickly and easily get messages out to the parents, students and staff.  The feed can be in embedded into the school web page, so that the Principal doesn't need to send content to someone else to post on the web page.

- Teacher's Newsletter: 
Teacher's can provide the weekly parent newsletter electronically.  The teacher can add additional content, including pictures and video.  By restricting access to only those parents on the teacher's mailing list, there are no concerns about student pictures and publishing.

- Student Journals:
  Students can write for as large or as small of an audience as they want.  By limiting the subscribers to the teacher, their classmates and their parents.  Students get the experience of publishing without the exposure of the entire world.  As students get older and more information literate they can publish for larger and larger audiences.  Students, teachers and parents can give authentic feed back to students.  Students can subscribe to each others blogs in Reader.  Good Combo.

There are many, many more variations here.

Activity: Using Blogger and Reader to connect and collaborate

- Create your Blogger and Reader accounts. ( and

- Publish one blog post and include at least one piece of media (image, video, audio) into your post.

- Subscribe to three blogs of others in the workshop session.

- Read and comment on their blogs. 


Common Craft Video on Google Reader 

Google Reader

Common Craft Video on Blogging


Blogger:  How to start a Blog

Blogger: How to start a blog.


BONUS: Don't Miss AideRSS for Google Reader (a Firefox Extension)
Kentucky Standards
KY Teacher Standard 3.4
KY Teacher Standard 3.5
KY Teacher Standard 5.5
KY Teacher Standard 6.1
KY Teacher Standard 6.4
KY Teacher Standard 8.2

NETS-A 2.b
NETS-A 2.d
NETS-A 3.c
NETS-A 4.a
NETS-A 5.b