One of the most beneficial parts of my Personal Learning Network or PLN is my feed reader. I use this tool to compile in one location all the updates from educational bloggers that I like to follow. This way I don’t have to visit each blog each day to see what new information is available. When Google Reader went out of commission as a feed reader, I had to find a new one, so I’m currently using Feedly for this purpose.
I keep my eye out for mentions of blogs to follow when I’m at conferences, when I’m reading professional paper publications (yep, I still do that now and then), or even when I’m spending time reading other folks’ blogs. Many bloggers keep a “blog roll” on their own blog showing other bloggers they like. If I like someone’s blog, I figure I might also like who THEY like!
Once you add the blog address to Feedly, you don’t have to keep it bookmarked or remember the web address…just go to Feedly and log in and the updates will be sitting there for you to scan as headlines and to link to if you want to read the entire blog posts.
I try to schedule 15 minute blocks of time here and there during my week to just stay current in my reading. I sometimes have to set a timer, because it is easy to get lost in the “blogosphere” and kill an entire hour! If you need some help finding valuable bloggers to start following, the Teach100 list at Teach.com is a great place to find a few to start with. Just pick 3 – 4 that sound good, start an account at Feedly and put it on your calendar to revist every few days for the next few weeks. If you find it valuable, you’ve gained a new professional development tool!