iGoogle, RSS, and Keeping Up

I’ve been surprised of late at how few of my colleagues effectively use digital technology to make their lives more productive. Though they all recognize the need to keep abreast of current thinking and research in their respective fields, few tap into technologies that can help them do just that. A good example is utilizing RSS feeds and personalized home page portals like iGoogle or Netvibes. For me, iGoogle has been a great way to quickly scan recent articles from journals and news organizations related to my area of expertise, physical geography. I’ve added RSS widgets to iGoogle tabs so I can quickly scan recent titles and article summaries  from numerous journals and web sites without having to visit each site individually. If I find something of interest and don’t have the time to read it, I simply tag it using a Firefox extension like “Read It Later“. Better yet is “Instapaper“, a free and easy way to save web pages for reading later. Instapaper lets you read web pages online, on your iPhone or iPod Touch, or offline.

Beyond RSS feed, widgets for online notes and online calendars have been extremely valuable. No matter where I am and on what Internet-connected computer I’m using, the notes and calendars are always there.

About Michael Ritter PhD
Professor of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, science textbook author, educational technology blogger, podcaster, and freelance media consultant.

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