How to Organize your Calendar at Traf

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.39.54 AMYesterday I showed the staff briefly how to subscribe to the calendar feeds from our web calendar through the Traf app. However there were many questions that I was not able to address in the short time we had, which I thought I would address now.

 

 

 

First of all, here is a step by step guide to getting your calendar app up to date on your iPad:

1.Tap on the Calendar box:

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2. Scroll down to the bottom of the Calendar until you see calendar feeds. Scroll down to view the options and choose one.

3. You will get the following message. Tap okay:

photo 1 photo 2

4. View your events in your calendar!

 

QUESTIONS

Why can I see the feed I subscribed to on my iPad but not on my google calendar or iCal on my desktop?

After a bit of fiddling around with the different calendars, I came to the conclusion that, even though you can sync events and calendars that you create in your calendar, the feeds you subscribe to will not sync to your other devices. At least, I think that is true to the best of my knowledge- if I am wrong please let me know!

 

What this means is that you will have to take the two minutes and subscribe to your feeds on your laptop. Go to the Calendar on the Traf website. Click on the Arrow out of the box icon in the upper right hand corner:

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.51.01 AM

Choose which option suits you best. 

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.32.25 AM

 

Personally, I use my google calendar, so I chose to add it directly to my google calendar. make sure you are signed in to your Google account if you choose this option.

Why are some events repeating in my calendar?

If you are like me, you will have several different calendars. I have two gmail accounts- a personal and a work one. I tend to share my google calendars with my different accounts so that if I am logged into my work account and check my calendar, I will see if I have a personal event that might conflict with an after school event.

But if I don’t watch out, I will get a calendar that looks like this:

photo 1-1

Notice the 3 labour days, the 2 GFTC meetings. This is an easy fix. Simply go to your calendars and scroll through them to see where maybe some of your calendars repeat. Once you have found the duplicates, uncheck all but one. This does not mean you are deleting a calendar. It just means that you are hiding it from the display.

Here is how it should look:

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Ahhh. That’s better. If you are having other issues with your calendar, or if this post was as clear as mud, please come and see me and we can de-fuddle it together!

 

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The Blogging Kraken: How to Keep Up with All Your Students’ Blogs?

For those of you who get your students to write blogs, this is a great idea for organizing and keeping track of who has posted what, what you have evaluated, etc. I use Feedly (as mentioned in this post) to keep track of all the blogs, websites, etc. I consult regularly. It would be so easy to create a”collection” for your individual classes. You can save posts for later, mark posts as read and as well as post it via several social media sites. This is a great idea and I can’t believe I didn’t think of it!

See on Scoop.itipadyoupad

Blogging is about reading and about writing in digital spaces. We want students to make their learning and thinking visible. We are developing a platform and a blogging pedagogy for students to doc…

See on langwitches.org

Why I like my RSS feed

I promise this will be my last post about Google Reader and RSS. But the fact that google decided to kill their reader made me wonder why they did it. It made me wonder if the way people access their information online was changing and if it was, how were people accessing, storing and managing all the sites they check out on a regular basis?  Thus I was happy to come across this article over the weekend as it clarified why Google thought they should kill Reader. But it also expressed why I find RSS feeds so useful:

RSS stands for “rich site summary” or “really simple syndication,” and it’s a web format that allows publishers to create a “feed” of media information such as articles, pictures, sound files, or whatever else you might like. RSS readers like Reader can subscribe to these feeds, and place them all in one, easy-to-access place where you can read or listen to all of them without zooming around on the web and visiting every website you enjoy. The “killer app” part of RSS feeds is that they automatically syndicate content to your reader — so every time you open your reader, it syncs up and receives the latest news.

But most people on the web aren’t using RSS readers anymore. Reader was by far the most popular feed reader out there, and its user base had been in a steep decline for two years before Google decided to shut it down. So why did most people stop caring about RSS?

I think it’s probably a generational thing, but not necessarily based on age. 

This is what I like about it- I can group all the sites I look at, say for this blog, in one place. I don’t have to go opening new tabs to each feed. It gives me a nice list of new articles for more efficient browsing.

But apparently people are getting their information in things like Tumblr which Newetz describes as “silos of infomation”. That is, you can subscribe to different Tumblr sites, but ultimately all you get is content on Tumblr instead of from anywhere on the net:

We are also moving toward a reading style that requires you to visit a specific site in order to read, instead of pulling all the articles you want into one piece of software. You go out into Tumblr and Facebook. You don’t aggregate all your favorite Tumblrs and magazine articles into, one, unified reader. Everything is separate and out there, in the cloud.

Why? Why give up on the RSS feed? It seems like the best, most comprehensive bucket to manage all of the sites you visit. I for one, am sticking with RSS.

 

The Impending Demise of Google Reader

So, I got back from vacation and was confronted with the news from Google that they are going to kill their google reader.

anxious-nervous-woman-wringing-handkerchief-in-her-hands1.Pause for the horror to sink in.

2.Commence the hair pulling, hand-wringing and cursing those fickle google gods.

3.Get over myself and look for alternatives.

This is a big deal for me. For many years I have used google reader an RSS  feed to keep all the websites and blogs I follow in one place. I have them neatly divided into folders- one for iPad stuff, one for YA Book stuff, etc. When I need a subject for this blog I go to my ipad collection. If I am wanting to do some collection development, I will go to my YA folder.

Ok. I am making myself want to go back to #2 right now.

Luckily I found this article via The Verge about Google Reader alternatives. I totally relate to the author:

When I heard Google was planning to kill Google Reader as part of a “spring cleaning exercise,” I was appalled. Google had decided to disband the team of paperboys that delivered me the news every morning. While RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is years past its heyday, it had become a wonderful and efficient way to read news untarnished by the social networking age. It was my firehose of headlines, straight from the source.

And Google Reader is a lot more than an RSS client. It syncs news feeds between different apps, and makes sure you can always pick up right where you left off. It’s also simple and free, which means it drove most competitors out of the market long ago. Once Reader dies July 1st, we’ll be left with apps that don’t rely on its backend to sync your feeds — which isn’t very many apps. Various denizens of the internet and companies like Digg have volunteered to create new backends of their own, but for now, picking an RSS client you can trust means you’ll need one that doesn’t rely on Google Reader.

“Hearing that Google Reader is shutting down is like hearing that your favorite old bookstore is closing,” writesThe New Yorker’s Joshua Rothman. So what are all the “absurdly ambitious readers” to do?

He gives many of options and ranks them. He also mentions whether the RSS feed have apps and for what mobile device. Because I use a few different computers (work, home, ipad, phone) it’s important for me that the feed syncs with every device and that I can read it on every device. After reading this article, I am going to try Feedly.

Do you have an RSS feed you love? If so, tell me about it!

 

 

 

 

 

iPad Summer Challenge #3: RSS!

Here is the original post I wrote about reading RSS feeds on the iPad. Why do this? To keep your professional development meanderings all in one place. To have it at your fingertips wherever you are (easy reading on the bus or the metro). And because it gives all those blog posts a nice magazine-y feel!

Read more…

I would also remind you of Flipboard and Zite two favourites among our humanities ladies!

Flipboard

RSS App anyone?

In my daily librarian meanderings, I look at a lot of blogs and websites. Some are so useful I go back to them again and again. Collection development, new trends in librarianship, in books, in education, friends, YA authors – you name it, I probably follow it.

IN order to keep up with all this information I use google reader as my RSS feeder (if you are not familiar with RSS feeds, they stand for Real Simple Syndication). You can RSS most sites that have this icon:

Google reader is a big part of my work life and my personal life and so, when I wanted to gather the blogs, and the websites I wanted to check in with regularly for the ipads, my first order of business was to create an ipad folder.
Problem. Viewing my RSS feed folder through google on Safari was, let us say, not ideal. How awesome would it be if I had an RSS app?
A quick search brought me directly to this:
MobileRSS HD Free ~ Google RSS News Feeder was so simple to use it almost made me cry ( I did spend all day yesterday trying to figure out why the hotwater tank on the second floor wasn’t getting any electricity- simple is good and tear-worthy).
I just entered my gmail address and my password and it downloaded all my feeds:
As you can see, all my folders are intact. I click on the arrow beside the subject of my folder and I can see the individual blogs or website:
  It also allows the same functionality as I have on my desktop. I can star it for later use, email it to people, add it to my delicious or share with my network of friends.
I am extremely thrilled. I might even populate that RRS feed with more stuff now that it is so easy to get on the ipad.
There are of course, other ways to aggregate your content on the piad, the more popular one being
Pulse: I think Ms. Brown, intrepid English Teacher and innovative ipad explorer showed this to me once and said it was one of her favourite apps.  The interface is grand, with stories from individual sources in nice, neat, scrollable rows.
You can also add your RSS feeds to it and then change the order of how you want your RSS feeds to appear.It took me about three times to get rid of the default ESPN feed though and it isn’t as intuitive. 
This is what happens when you click on a story.
Personally, I think I will use the first RSS feed for my Google reader, as the lay out is simple and allows me to navigate easier between the subjects. Still, I have to admit, I am getting seduced by Pulse’s interface….
A little drawback- some of the RSS feeds in Pulse will take you directly to the website and look like this:

Whoah, dude. Busy much?

As opposed to MobileRSS which gives you only the article in a clean, readable format:

I am getting old. I need a lot of white space.

Oh! And both Apps are free, so who needs ot choose anyway? I can use both!