RSS Feeds Into A Widget for D2L

Part of my previous (and current) job was (is) to document and describe how to accomplish tasks in our LMS, Desire2Learn. However, there’s lots of things that I learned from others, but have since forgotten the original source, and moreover, can’t find a simple answer for what I used to know. Networked learning indeed. So, the next few posts (hopefully at a more regular interval) will have links to resources that I should know how to do, and push to document locally in PDF format with nice screenshots and everything.

I can’t believe I didn’t document this, nor kept a copy of the process for this, but The Clever Sheep has already done it via video, so I’ll link here: – there’s a primer on RSS and what it means, which is not entirely useful for my purposes. Typically my usage is in response to a question like: How do I get an RSS feed into my course? I like to use PDFs to document things – people tend to need to see pictures, and like to print out instructions to have next to them as they do the task. Usually my PDFs get spit out as a response to a question I’ve had more than once, and as such, they get the benefit of many iterations of feedback on the writing and how functional the instructions are.

We’re upgraded to 9.4.1 of the D2L Learning Environment, but will be going to Version 10 soon. From my preliminary investigation of version 10 (thanks Matt Teskey and D2L for the early access) the process doesn’t change and pre-existing RSS Feed widgets import into the new course just fine – nothing breaks.

I would also have to acknowledge the great work that Alan Levine did with Feed2Js, and Barry Dahl who’s presentation on Web 2.0 in the LMS was the starting point for where I’ve gone in the last four years.  So here’s my gift back – How to Embed a RSS feed in a D2L Homepage Widget (PDF). Bonus offer: if you would like to edit the original document, I’ll be glad to share that too, drop a comment and I’ll get in touch directly.

ETC 2010

I’ll be doing a dog-and-pony show tomorrow about Web 2.0 tools and Desire2Learn, at ETC 2010 (Twitter feed here), although it’s not that specific – I’ll be using the LMS as a homebase rather than leveraging the benefits of D2L, keeping it LMS agnostic as my co-worker suggested.

The keynote for the conference is Will Richardson, which no doubt will talk about a lot of the same issues that I’m talking about – mainly because he’s been an influence on my thinking as a classroom educator and this Web 2.0 tools.  In looking around at his approach, and what his likely keynote will cover, I want to be able to add to what I’ve learned from the classroom experiments I’ve run. Unfortunately, it’s a lot of the same things he’s learned. So I’m struggling with how I’ll be able to add value or build on his keynote, other than my natural grace and charm. And great moustache. I’ve got a couple hours on the train/subway/bus tomorrow morning to think about it, so maybe I’ll have a moment of brilliance? I suspect I’ll trim my theory portion of the show and get more hands-on with the different tools and what I’ve found from using them.

The hashtag will be #etc2010conf – so follow it for more information.