May 31, 2020

Inoreader Star for Workflow

I often joke that Inoreader is my LMS, and I certainly spend way (WAY) more time with Inoreader every day than I do in Canvas, my school's LMS. In this post, I want to describe one of my favorite features for workflow in Inoreader: the Star feature. If you use the Star feature in Gmail or Google Drive, you already know how the Inoreader Star works: it's a simple flag that you can turn on or off for any content item (i.e. any student blog post).

The way I use the Star in Inoreader is to let myself know that I've left a comment on a blog post. That's important for me in two ways:

Star for specific assignments. During the Orientation, I leave a comment on every student's Favorite Places Post and on their Introduction. Those are the only posts of the semester where I leave a comment on every post, and it takes me a while to do that. I finish all the Favorite Places comments during the first week, but it takes me another week or two to finish all the Introduction posts. To keep track of that, I go to the tag for that post and I use the list view, adding the star as I comment one each post:

I know I'm done when every post in that folder has a star.

Star for individual students. Aside from the Favorite Places and Introduction posts, my comments on people's blogs are random; the blogging space is really more for the students to interact with each other (I mostly interact with them through their projects). But I do comment on a few blogs at random each week along with posts the jump out at me for some reason in the stream, and I use the star to mark the blogs I've commented on. That means I can also look at an individual student's blog overall and see how often I've commented:

I rely on the randomizer to help me comment on everybody's blogs periodically, but I can also review all the blogs very quickly by clicking through them to see where there are stars.

So, the Star is very useful for me in keeping track of my interaction with the students in their blogs. Next up: the Inoreader Search feature, which I use to help me connect one student to another.