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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Backstit.ch Updates and Becomes a Better iGoogle Alternative

Backstit.ch is one of the seven iGoogle alternatives that were recently featured here on Free Technology for Teachers. In the time since that post was published Backstit.ch has had a few enhancements that make it quite a bit better than it was before.


Backstit.ch is a service that allows you to organize and display information from your favorite websites and services. Your start page can be constructed of information from Backstit.ch's suggested sites or from RSS feeds that you specify. I created a simple start page of information from TechCrunch, CNN, my Twitter feed, and Free Technology for Teachers. In the past you had to add feeds to Backstit.ch either through their suggested feeds or by looking up the RSS feed of a source and adding it to your startpage. That is no longer the case because Backstit.ch now offers a browser bookmarklet that allows you to quickly add content to your startpage. Backstit.ch no longer limits you to just one startpage. You can create multiple pages according to your interests.

Applications for Education
My first thought when I learned that Backstit.ch now allows you to create multiple pages is that it could be a great tool for social studies students to use to track developing news stories. By creating multiple pages in their accounts students will be able to quickly see the latest news about a story from a variety of news outlets. And because they will have a variety of news sources on one page they'll be able to see how different news outlets report the same story. That could lead to some good classroom discussions about bias in the media.

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