I am going to let you in on a little known secret: Learning does not happen exclusively in classrooms.
Learning can happen anytime, anywhere. Successful individuals spend quality time learning outside of the workplace.
With lifelong jobs and job security a thing of the past, the best thing you can do is to take learning into your own hands. One way to do this is to build a personal learning network (PLN). A PLN is a system of interpersonal connections and resources that support informal learning. There are two types of PLNs: information aggregation and social media connections.
The information aggregation PLN involves collecting information from various resources in order to stay up-to-date on recent news, ideas, and theories in your field of interest.
RSS (really simple syndication) readers are tools that allow you to follow multiple websites, blogs, podcasts, and news updates without having to visit each website and search for the newest posts. RSS feeds allow information (usually text and photos) from one website to be viewed on another website. RSS readers allow you to follow and organize hundreds of RSS feeds.
Watch this video to learn how to subscribe, organize, and manage RSS feeds using Google Reader:
As a graduate student interested in the use of technology as a learning tool, I follow various education technology, technology, and even education policy blogs and news websites. I spend 30 to 45 minutes every week skimming through the many new posts that have been added to my Google Reader and I read the full text of the posts that relate to my research or classes. Building an RSS reader has helped me stay current with the latest technology tools and education policies so I can make sure my research is cutting edge.
Do you use an RSS reader to follow various websites? If so, share your tips for building a successful RSS reader by posting a comment on this article.