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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Reeder App for iOS

by Silvio Rizzi
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4 stars
Content Quality:
Effectiveness: 4.5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Jun 29, 2011 by Teacher Education
Overview: Reeder is an app that makes it easy to view and share Google Reader content. Educators who use Google Reader to subscribe to blogs and other feeds can use Reeder to quickly keep up with new posts. Posts can be shared by email or various social networking tools such as Read It Later and Twitter.
Learning Goals: Use potential is broad and specific learning goals would be determined by the teacher.
Target Student Population: This product would be of most benefit for a teacher in consolidating student-generated content and student activity coming from a variety or Web-based sources. Students need to be old enough to establish a Google account. This is primarily a tool for teachers or older students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Since the app is tied to Google Reader, users must be at least 13 years of age to have a Google account. Users will need to understand how to subscribe to an RSS feed and how to manage feeds in Google Reader.
Type of Material: This item is an app.
Recommended Uses: This can be a good tool for keeping in touch with rapidly changing content related to courses using online resources such as blogs, wikis, and other content feeds without staying at the computer since the app works on any Apple based mobile device. One reviewer uses Reeder to view student reflections posted their their blogs. Students could use it to follow important feeds related to a course they are taking.
Technical Requirements: App is designed for Apple products: iPhone, iPod, iPad, iMacs and other Mac computers. Users must have a Google Reader account.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating:
Strengths: Content would be generated from a variety of sources and aggregated for easy access and reading by the user.
Concerns: Users need to understand the purpose and how to use RSS aggregators. The content of Reeder would be determined by the user.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The app can be an excellent time-saver for a teacher, coach or mentor who is responsible for reading and providing feedback on student generated content from a variety of Web-based sources. It is not uncommon for teacher education students to develop personal wikis for class assignments or professional development, resulting in subscriptions to 20 or more wikis each semester for a single class. Reeder would provide one source for all updates for all student generated content at any time. Reeder has great potential for helping teachers and students be efficient when reviewing blog posts they subscribe through Google Reader. An instructor could ask learners to subscribe to blogs and then reflect and report back to the class on what they find.
Concerns: The app is limited to those using Apple products. Reeder works well in situations where learners are already using blogs or feeds as information sources, introducing students to Google Reader and Reeder at the same time may be more than some instructors are willing to take on.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: App is easy to load, set up and use. It strong user ratings with few complaints. For educators and students who are already using Google Reader, Reeder is an efficient tool for quickly reviewing new posts. It is also easy to share those posts through email and social networking tools like Twitter or Read it Later.
Concerns: none

Other Issues and Comments: This is not a free app. Purchase price ranges from $2.99 for iPhones, $4.99 for iPads, and $9.99 for Mac computers. We have been spoiled by free apps. This is one that is worth paying for.