What is the first thing you do in the morning when you get to your office? I usually turn on the computer and let it run its cycle while I get coffee from the break room. Then I usually open the Internet and look at my portal webpage for news updates. I have this personal portal webpage on “My Yahoo” and I’ve been using it for almost 10 years. A personal portal webpage is a customizable web portal where you can get updated news, articles, trends, information and anything you’d like to keep updated from the sources you “subscribed” (it’s totally free). So, the first thing in the morning, I usually open My Yahoo and read headlines from New York Times, NPR News, local news, a few food blogs (did you know I’m a “foodie”?) and bunch of other professional-related blogs and newsfeed.
If you haven’t seen one, a personal portal webpage looks like this one (below) and you can get updated on all things new. The links you see here are all newsfeeds from various websites or blogs I subscribe. So, just glancing at this page, I can scan all headlines quickly and find news and articles that I’d like to read more. As I talked with colleagues here at CTLT, a number of us have something similar to keep up with news and trend in the field. Some uses news (RSS) aggregators like Google Reader and some uses e-mail system to get newsfeed. We often send interesting links to each other when we come across with things that others might be interested (another good way to keep up with all news!).
But this Monday, I accidentally logged out from my setting, and somehow, I cannot remember my password and a secret handshake to this page (we just have too many password nowadays, don’t we?). So, I had to give up on this and start a new page. Since I don’t use Yahoo for e-mail or other services any longer, I decided to use iGoogle, Google’s version of personal portal webpage and started reconstructing what I had on My Yahoo from my memory.
The “reconstruction process” took a while as I manually added what I remembered having before, but it turned out to be a good opportunity for me to refocus what I really needed. Just like many other people, organizing files/folders and closets (!) is not my favorite cup of tea, so during the 10 years of using My Yahoo portal, I kept accumulating feeds that I no longer needed. Now with a new system, I got rid of the ones I don’t need (because I cannot remember them) and added back the ones that I really read and enjoy.
So, how do you keep up with all things new? If you already have a personal web portal or use aggregators, what are your favorite blogs/websites to get news/ideas about teaching and learning? I hope one of these sites/blogs is CTLT blog! ☺ Also, if you’d like to make your own portal webpage or use news aggregators, please feel free to call me for help.