Spring Widgets: RSS made easy

A week or so ago, I was looking at my webpage. It was the most basic, boring string of code on the internet. I am an instructional designer by trade, so one might think I would have a really cool website. But then again, most mechanics out there drive jalopies – always time to work on someone else’s, never time for your own.

I decided it was high time to simplify my life. I often found myself exhausted from typing in individual URL’s for the USDLA, CNN, Global MBA Blog, EduGeek Journal, and all of the other sites I check regularly. All of this work, just to find nothing had been updated since I last checked (of course this is rarely the case with EduGeek Journal). Enter SpringWidgets http://www.springwidgets.com/ . This is an RSS Aggregator that can be downloaded to your desktop, used in a website, on MySpace, and many other places. The interface is simple, appealing, and functional. I currently have 10 feeds on my personal website: http://darrencrone.com/rssfeeds.htm From an educational perspective, students can easily keep up to date with multiple research journals, newspapers, or anything else with the magical letters RSS stamped on it, by simply glancing at their course homepage.

Darren Crone
Darren is a sarcastic, odd, bald man with a very dry sense of humor. He originally hails from Albany, N.Y., but claims Charleston, S.C. as his hometown.He joined the Air Force soon after graduating high school. This decision was made because a) working as a busboy wasn’t quite cutting it, and b) he had zero desire to ever attend college. While in the Air Force, he traveled the world as a Combat Cameraman, documenting both natural and man made disasters in places such as Thailand, Namibia, Armenia, Germany, Panama, Italy, Croatia, Japan, Singapore, and probably more than a few places that have changed names since you began reading this bio. There are many stories about his travels locked away in a vault somewhere and it is said that Samuel Adams holds the key.

While in the Air Force, he was given the opportunity to attend a year-long Video Journalism program at Syracuse University. Much to his amazement, he found that higher education didn’t suck at all. Having been bitten by the education bug, he completed his BS and MA in education and training from Southern Illinois University and Webster University respectively. He then completed his doctorate in instructional technology and distance education form Nova Southeastern University.

Darren currently works as an Instructional Designer at The University of Texas at Dallas and enjoys spending time with his wife, children, dogs and fish. His hobbies include weight training, watching the Texas Rangers (yes, really), and trying to appear smarter than he really is.

2 thoughts on “Spring Widgets: RSS made easy

  1. Matt Crosslin

    Nice idea. People have been speculating on how web applications will start making the jump to desktop soon. And it has been happening – to some degree. I think Google announcing that Google Docs will make that jump will help create a rush to make that happen more. Now, how to get EduGeek Journal to jump from web to desktop….

    Do you know what kind of technology this is built on (for the desktop version)? In K-12 education, the prevalence of, um, dying machines might makes this hard to use. But – it would be nice to have this already set up on the computers in your room (or school lab), and then have students do a current event activity every day when they come in to class. Online classes could do this a lot easier, of course.

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