Vocabulary Via RSS

In a stack of papers called Technology.

  • Apr
  • 05
  • 2006

Want to study a few vocabulary words? Want something like that for your students?

You’ll need an RSS feed of your vocabulary words (Tom put together a quick intro to RSS that might be helpful). Rolling your own RSS feed of vocab words offers you the most control over what words you use, but carries the biggest work load. If some of us want to work on turning vocab lists into feeds, we could likely have several lists created in short order. But that will take some time. Want it now?

Another way involves using whatever words crop up in a Word-of-the-Day or Words-of-the-Week RSS feed. These often have cool words that high school students could benefit from. But the quick turnover means that there’s very few words to study at a time and no archive (I’m sure there’s a way to save up the items from a daily feed into a big comprehensive feed). And the words in those types of lists can be obscure and not terribly useful. Choose wisely.

Either way, combine that feed with Grazr, a way to include information on your page in a slightly interactive way, and you’ve got a type of flash card system similar to The Amazing Flash Card Machine.

Study these vocabulary words again to see what I mean.

Move On

You’ve made your decision and now your vocab words are in an RSS feed. Type that RSS feed address into the “Currently Displaying” textbox over at Grazr and “See how it looks.” Once you “Get the code,” it’s just a cut and paste routine, really. Put that code into the sidebar of your site somewhere and you’ve got a little study area for students. Clicking on a word reveals the definition. Even though it’s a brief movement that doesn’t require much thought, that interactivity is a wonderful thing to help students learn.

UPDATE: I just found out this afternoon that Grazr apparently doesn’t work in IE or Opera Safari on a Mac. Is it working on PCs?


1. mikepk says:

[4/5/2006 - 7:17 pm]

Thanks for the writeup and the really cool use!

Grazr definitely doesn’t work on IE for Mac, but (being a Mac user myself :) I’ve tested it on Opera 8.51. What version of Opera isn’t working for you? I only have limited testing capabilities so it’s good to know what works and what doesn’t.

Grazr has been tested on the following platforms / browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer 6, Firefox 1.0.7, Firefox 1.5
Mac: Safari 2.0.3, Firefox 1.5, Opera 8.51, Camino 1.0
Linux: Firefox 1.0.7

Hope this helps!

2. Grazr Blog » Blog Archive » Flashcards says:

[4/6/2006 - 7:07 am]

[…] Another cool use for Grazr, a vocabulary flash card teaching aid for students! Neat. Thanks to Todd Seal for the idea. Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized […]

3. Todd says:

[4/6/2006 - 11:27 am]

Sorry about that. I meant Safari, not Opera. And it’s Safari 1.0.3 that’s not working. It works in 1.3.2 and the latest version (2.0.1??).