Week 3: RSS and Alerts: Keeping Up

Robot holding RSS symbol.  Image courtesy of Flickr user Rafa[EU]This week is all about RSS, which stands for "Real Simple Syndication."  If you are starting to feel a tad overwhelmed with the sheer amount of information that is available on the internet and in the Web 2.0 world, you are not alone!  There are so many blogs, websites, new tools, and interesting articles.  How can one person possibly keep up with it all?  How can you weed out the stuff you don't want from the information that you do? 

One way to keep up is by using an RSS reader which allows you to subscribe directly to the content that interests you.  Some people call them "readers," "feed readers," or "aggregators."  Whatever you call it, the idea is to bring the information to you- rather than have you go to the information. 

First, watch this short CommonCraft video that neatly explains all about RSS:

Thing 5: Setup an RSS Reader There are several great ones to choose from: Google Reader, Bloglines, Newsgator, or My Yahoo.  If you already have a Google account, you will find it easy to use the Google Reader.  Likewise, if you are a Yahoo! user, My Yahoo! might be the best choice.  But don't be afraid to try a few and see which one is the best fit for you. To set up an RSS Reader, you will need to first create an account and then explore the tools, settings, and particular interface of the program you choose. Click here to watch a quick video on adding feeds (aka "subscriptions") to GoogleReader. 

Maybe you'd like to put an RSS feed subscription on the Darien Public School website or your child's teacher's website. Or maybe you'll love reading a local mom blogger, like Nicole Lyons from All About Darien, who blogs about events in and around town. Did you know that there are lots of websites that share local information through Feeds including FairfieldCountyChild, Darien Patch and even the local newspapers!

Maybe using a Reader is still just ONE MORE THING to have to check and follow. Maybe you check your email regularly and think that having the information sent right to your inbox is preferrable and more convenient. Try setting up an RSS Feed that will send updates directly to your email account with Feed My Inbox. Watch an explaniation of how it works here.

Extra Credit: Alerts

Create an Alert using Google Alert. Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic. Just want to see how it works? Try putting an alert on "Darien Library" and see who's talking about our library online!

Thing 6: Add  Darien Library 21 Things to your reader and at least one other blog. Now that you know how easy it is, you'll be on top of everything in no time!

Robotics

Image courtesy of Flickr user R80o
Image courtesy of Flickr user R80o

This week's topic was Robotics. We learned about how far Robots have evolved and how they have inspired generations of films, books, and media. To read our eblast that we sent this week, click here.

Thing: Attend our Family Mindstorms program on Saturday, March 7th at 2pm. Register online.

Thing: Take a selfie with your family this week. (Each week participants will have a chance to earn an additional raffle ticket by sharing their photos on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook. Don't forget to use the Hashtag #DL21Things.)

 

Digital Learning

Photo courtesy of flickr user EdTech Stanford
Photo courtesy of flickr user EdTech Stanford

This week we learned all about digital learning and how anyone can take advantage of the resources offered to learn both formally and informally. Learn more in our email!

Thing: Attend our Family Tech Night on Monday, March 2nd at 5pm. Join us to learn more about eBook, eAudio, and magazine access through the Library's catalog.

Thing: Attend Senior Moments: Gabbin' With Grandkids on Tuesday, March 3rd at 3pm. We will show you how to utilize these technologies to read your grandkids a cherished book or just gab about what’s good.

Support for Senior Moments is provided by the Connecticut State Library (CSL) and the Institute for Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS), an independent federal agency whose mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.

Thing: Attend our Online Security Seminar on Thursday, March 5th at 6pm. Register online.

Thing: Share a #latergram from a vacation you took this past year. (Each week participants will have a chance to earn an additional raffle ticket by sharing their photos on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook. Don't forget to use the Hashtag #DL21Things.)

Declutter Your Digital Self

Image courtesy of flickr user naevus
Image courtesy of flickr user naevus

This week we learned about the ways in which we can declutter our computers and phones using learned techniques, and also library resources. Read the email we sent this week here.

Thing: Attend our Online Security Seminar on Wednesday, February 25th at 10am. Register.

Thing: Attend our Appy Hour on Thursday, February 26th at 6pm.

Thing: Comment on this post about how you stay organized digitally and if you utilize any services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon Cloud Drive, or others.

Thing: Throwing it back this week. Share one of your favorite old pics and participate in #throwbackthursday. (Each week participants will have a chance to earn an additional raffle ticket by sharing their photos on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook. Don't forget to use the Hashtag #DL21Things.)

 

3D Printing and Design

Image courtesy of flickr user creative_tools
Image courtesy of flickr user creative_tools

This week's topic was 3D printing and design. Read the email here!

Thing: Attend our screening of Terms and Conditions May Apply on Monday, February 9th at 7pm, or on Saturday, February 21st at 2 pm

Thing:  Make something with your kids and share it with other 21 Things parents. (Each week participants will have a chance to earn an additional raffle ticket by sharing their photos on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook. Don't forget to use the Hashtag #DL21Things.)

 

Health Tech/Wearable Tech

Image courtesy of Flickr user Schneidermac
Image courtesy of Flickr user Schneidermac

This week we learned about health technology/wearable technology and the ways in which they will continue to affect our lives. Read the email here!

Thing: Attend our family Stay Fit With Wii program on Wednesday, February 4th at 5pm.

Thing: Tell us about a local Darien spot you visited week. (Each week participants will have a chance to earn an additional raffle ticket by sharing their photos on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook. Don't forget to use the Hashtag #DL21Things.)

Thing: Comment on this post and tell us if you are using wearable technology. Do you think your health benefits from your use of it?

Makers

Image courtesy of Flickr user suziesue_00
Image courtesy of Flickr user suziesue_00

This week's topic was Makers and Maker Culture. We learned a bit about it's history, and how it has evolved to become what it is today. Click here to read this week's email!

Thing: Attend Family Fingerknitting on Tuesday, January 27th at 5pm. Register here.

Thing: Tell us about a new recipe you've tried this week. (Each week participants will have a chance to earn an additional raffle ticket by sharing their photos on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook. Don't forget to use the Hashtag #DL21Things.)

Thing: In the comments section below, respond to the following: We are all Makers of some kind. What have you and your family “made” together? Do you fix or repair things on your own? Have you explored Make Magazine, Pinterest, Instructables, or another online “Do It Yourself” website?

eBooks & eAudiobooks: eContent at the Library

Image courtesy of Flickr user edvvc
Image courtesy of Flickr user edvvc

This week's topic was eBooks & eAudiobooks: eContent at the Library. To read this week's email, click here!

Thing: Attend our Family Tech Night on Tuesday, January 20th at 5pm. Join us to learn more about eBook, eAudio, and magazine access through the Library's catalog.

Thing: Attend our morning seminar Raising Teens to Thrive and Succeed in a Digital World on Thursday, January 22nd from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. (This program is co-sponsored by YWCA Parent Awareness.)

Thing: What's your Friday Reads this week? (Each week participants will have a chance to earn an additional raffle ticket by sharing their photos on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook. Don't forget to use the Hashtag #DL21Things.)

Thing: Comment on this post and tell us if your family is already accessing eContent. Do you use Hoopla through the library to stream movies and TV shows? Or do you prefer subscription based services like Netflix and Hulu Plus?

Families & Technology

Image courtesy of Flickr user Matt Long (memorymotel)
Image courtesy of Flickr user Matt Long (memorymotel)

This week's topic is Families & Technology. We discussed the ways in which technology impacts our families, and the ways in which we stay connected to and interact with each other.  To read this week's email, click here!

Thing: Attend Starting a Handmade Business on Tuesday, January 13th at 10am. Register online.

Thing: Attend our Family Digital Scavenger Hunt on Friday, January 16th at 6pm. Register online.

Thing: Be on the lookout for something humorous this week and share your findings. Each week participants will have a chance to earn an additional raffle ticket by sharing their photos on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook. Don't forget to use the Hashtag #DL21Things.

Thing: Earn another raffle ticket by participating in our poll to become next week's Featured Family. Please fill out this form and we will contact you for more information.

Thing: Comment on this post with how technology affects your daily life with your family. Has it helped you keep in touch with distant family members? In what ways - positively or negatively - do you think increased technology use has affected your family?

21 Things Week 8: Apps and Wearable Technology

Image courtesy of Flickr user IntelFreePress
Image courtesy of Flickr user IntelFreePress

This week we learned about apps and wearable technology and the ways in which they will continue to affect our lives.

By participating in at least one of the Things below, you will be entered into our last raffle prize for 21 Things, which is a book by Make Magazine. 

Thing: Attend our App Chat in the Children's Library on Thursday, March 6 at 4:15pm. We will discuss our favorite apps for Apple and Android devices.

Thing: Participate in our Tweet Up on Thursday, March 6 at 10am. We will discuss our favorite apps for Apple and Android devices.

Thing: Participate in our Family App Scavenger Hunt on Friday, March 7 at 6:30. Register online.

Thing: Comment on this post about how your family uses apps for fun, school, work, or other purposes. 

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