Professional news without a clogged inbox
All professionals need to keep up with developments in their field and that can be daunting task. One way we receive news is via email updates from various groups, but some of us would rather limit our email intake. An alternate method involves using a system that gathers and organizes news “feeds” in one place. If that’s unfamiliar territory for you, see How to find and follow blogs.
Let me share a practical example from my field, that of faculty development. On the POD Network email list, Keri Dutkiewicz recently assembled the “Top 10 Tips for Staying Up to Date in Faculty Development.” Her list included journals, lists, Twitter feeds, and more. Some provide email notifications, but I believe more people will follow them if the process does not involve a clogged inbox. I wondered how many of the resources could be followed in a news reader. Guess what? The answer was “all of them”! Below is the list, with each item linked to a feed you can add to your favorite news reader.
- POD list - a Listserv email list
- The Chronicle of Higher Education – fifteen blogs including Tweed
- Tomorrow’s Professor
- Tables of contents from journals like Change
- Faculty focus
- Inside higher Education
- Twitter feeds like the one by Jim Julius (Google Reader accepts this address)
- New Directions for Teaching and Learning
- ProfHacker (a Chronicle blog)
- ASTD (another professional organization)
As proof, I added all ten items to my Google Reader (click image at left). I do not recommend this tool for following an active list like POD’s or a Twitter feed like Jim’s – too many messages! Your favorite sources may be less prolific and thus better candidates. On the other end of the spectrum, Tomorrow’s Professor provides a single long article once a week.
I will probably most of items that were not already on my reader list — I follow more than a dozen sources, most related more closely to my specialty in technology. I have been checking them at least twice a week for years and the results have been invaluable to me.
Feel free to share your own stories and tips about keeping up with professional news.