Yesterday I wrote a post here about how I use Inoreader to display the live feed for my student blogs inside the Canvas class spaces:
As I mentioned in that post, I am able to use Inoreader for the blog feed in Myth-Folklore and also for a combined feed that contains both sections of my Indian Epics class.
In this post, I want to explain how/why I use Inoreader to combine all two classes (total of three sections) into a single feed which I display with the Blog Directory. And I'm using the #CCCWrite tag to share these strategies for student blogging with people in the Reflective Writing Club.
HOW: When I subscribe to my students' blogs, I put each blog in two folders: a folder for the class (Myth OR India) and a folder for both classes. By putting the same blog in different folders, I can make the blog contents available in different streams (a stream for each class OR a stream for both classes combined), and I can also perform different rules and filtering procedures on the separate folders (that's important to me, although it's probably not so much of general interest; if you're interested in that nitty-gritty detail, though, just ask: I am Inoreader's biggest fan!).
WHY: The reason I want to be able to combine the blogs from both classes into a single stream is so that my students can feel a sense of togetherness from one class to the other. Later in the semester, they will be visiting each other's projects, and right from the start of the semester, I want to make them aware of each other and to see the similarities/differences in the work they are doing in the different classes. The combined feed allows me to do that easily. It's like having my classes in two separate classrooms, but with a glass wall between them. Take a look and see what's going on!
And here's the WHERE: I decided to put the combined feed right on the same page with the blog directory! I can't believe I never thought of doing that sooner. Before, I just had a bunch of white space under the blog directory box. Now starting this semester, that space is alive, automatically updating with new posts whenever a student in either class adds something to their blog! I am really glad that when students come to find someone in the directory, they will also get a glimpse of "what's happening" in the classes at that very moment. :-)
Here's a screenshot of how it looks now, but it will look different as soon as there is a new post. And, of course, I'll be adding blogs to the directory. Classes don't start officially until next Tuesday, and I am excited that I already have 17 blogs to share. By the end of next week, there will be 90 of them... and the blog stream will REALLY be hopping! Link: