This content was published: February 2, 2016. Phone numbers, email addresses, and other information may have changed.
Want current news on your course homepage?
There is so much information out there on the subject that you teach. Do you sometimes wish that you could harness some of that information in one place? A place that students could browse at their leisure? Many newspapers, magazines, journals, and news stations have RSS feeds that allow you to create a “live” list of current articles on subjects that you choose. This list is automatically updated for you, too. Once you add an RSS feed, the content continuously updates as the source adds new articles. You never have to update the feed for your class unless you want to add or remove a source.
Benefits to student learning
Having a live feed of current articles on your topic adds learner interest and engagement in your course. A headline might catch a student’s eye, prompting them to read the article. The results of such an action mean at minimum your student just voluntarily read a current event/issue/news item related to the topics in your course that wasn’t required! At best, the student reads an eye catching article, is able to apply knowledge gained in your course to evaluate the information, and initiates a dialogue about it with you and/or with fellow students.
How to create a news feed
FeedWind is a free web application that allows you to build your own news widget using the RSS feeds from your favorite information sources. There are a number of customizations you can implement from color to number of articles to scroll timing. All you need is the website address (URL) of the RSS feed. Here are a few examples of available feeds:
And, there are so many more. Just sit down and search for your favorite informational site or a topic in general. Include “RSS” as one of the search terms. Here are the instructions for creating a news feed widget using FeedWind. These instructions also outline the procedure for creating a widget in D2L and adding it to your course homepage. Happy creating!