Feedly – Journals in your pocket

"RSS Fountain" by Orin Zebest. Creative Commons licence CC BY-SA
RSS Fountain” by Orin Zebest. Creative Commons licence CC BY-SA

About Feedly

Feedly is a news aggregator, also known as a “feed reader”, application for various web browsers and mobile devices running iOS and Android, or the Kindle. The tool allows the user to aggregate content from various sources that support RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds, such as news sites (e.g. BBC News, The Guardian), blogs, podcasts, YouTube channels, and, more importantly, academic journals.

Getting Started

Users can create a free Feedly account using a Google Mail, Facebook, Twitter, Windows or Evernote accounts from either a PC or a mobile device.

Feedly allows the user to compile and collate these various news feeds into appropriate, user-defined, categories. Furthermore, the user is able to share content with others (via e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) as well as saving them for reading at a later date.

The Benefits

  • Feedly is free.
  • The software is simple and easy to use.
  • It has a range of social and sharing features (via Twitter, Facebook, etc.).
  • Items can be “saved” for reading at a later date.
  • Items can be categorised into folders.
  • Customisable layout for easier selection and reading.
  • Automatically mark items “as read” when you scroll down the text.
  • Can add tags (or keywords).
  • Can use keyboard shortcuts to access items.

The Barriers

  • Not compatible with Internet Explorer web browser.
  • Requires browser add-on.
  • More visually cluttered.
  • Home page contains a long list of items.
  • Items are not alphabetically listed by source.

Getting Access

Users can download the Feedly app from Google Play, iTunes or Amazon (for the Kindle). Alternatively, they can log on to a mobile friendly website, or download the Feedly add-on that is available for the Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome web browsers.

Pedagogic Value

RSS feed readers have the capacity to allow users to control and filter the abundance of information (Weller, 2011) that is at their disposal. New channels of data exchange can be opened up between researchers and communities of learners. Furthermore, RSS feeds have the potential to create more robust connections between knowledge production and personal learning (EDUCAUSE, 2007).

Where Next?

There is a quick tutorial guide that is available from Feedly for users who are interested in giving this service a go. Alternatively, watch the video below that gives a brief overview of the Feedly tool.

If you would like to discuss how Feedly could be useful to you, please contact your Faculty Learning Technologist and arrange for a chat.

References

EDUCAUSE. (2007). 7 Things You Should Know About RSS. Louisville, CO: EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI). Available at: https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7024.pdf [Accessed 2.3.2015].

Weller, M. (2011). “A Pedagogy of Abundance”. Spanish Journal of Pedagogy, 249, pp. 223–236. Available at: http://oro.open.ac.uk/28774/ [Accessed 2.3.2015].