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Adding Custom Google News to Your Moodle Course

Did you know that you can create a custom Google News page? You can and you can tailor the news specific to your class and take this information and put it right into Moodle, where it can be updated automatically as news happens.

Creating Your own custom Google News

1. First off, navigate to Google News and sign in with your Google Account.

2. In the upper right hand corner of Google News you'll notice a "Add a Section >>" link. Click on it.

add a section

3. You will then be taken to page where you have the option to now create your own custom news. Click on the blue button that says "Create a custom section" on the right hand side of the page.

Create a custom section

4. You'll now be at the page where you can create your custom news site.

Think about what up to date information your class would benefit from and use those as search terms. These news articles are updated automatically as news is published.

The section to create your custom news

5. Fill out the information asked for completely and you're going to have your own custom news just for the topic of your class.

And you can create more than one custom news site! You can create as many as you want for all of your courses.

6. Once you've filled out all the info & clicked on the create button your are taken to your news page.

Importing into Moodle

This is where it gets cool and we can import this right into Moodle so that when your students log in, there is a block that will be linked to this news site, so that as the news is published it will automatically update in your Moodle course. Once you set it up - you can forget about it - the RSS feeds to the work for you.

1. Look at the bottom of your page for an icon that looks like this:  and right click on the link and select "Copy Link Location" (Mac) or "Copy Link Location" (PC) - this is the RSS Feed you're copying.

RSS feed icon

2. Login into the Moodle course you wish to use this RSS feed and turn editing on for the course. When you turn editing on you'll notice on the bottom right our "Blocks" block is on.

Blocks block

 3. You'll want to add Remote RSS Feeds from your selection which will place this block into your Moodle course.

Configure your RSS Feed notification

4. You're going to want to do exactly as it says, click on the link to configure the RSS feed you copied a bit back. You'll come to a page that looks like this.

Configure a Remote RSS Feeds block

 5. You'll want to click on the "Manage all my feeds" tab at the top on the right.

6. This page you'll paste in the RSS feed you copied earlier at the bottom of the Google News page. Once you have pasted in the link, click add.

Notification of RSS feed pasted & click add

7. Once you click add you'll have to wait a couple of seconds as Moodle goes out and finds this feed. Once Moodle has done this you'll get a screen to configure your RSS feed. You'll want to click on "Configure this block"

Configuring a Remote RSS Feeds block

8. You'll come to the Configuring a Remote RSS Feeds block page. This page is going to allow you to customize how your block will look.

I suggest selecting Yes to each of the three drop downs and a max number of 5 entries to be shown in the block.

You can custom name the block by filling in the Title: block or tic the name that is provided from the feed itself.

Configuring a Remote RSS Feeds block

9. Once you're done configuring, click on the Save changes button and ...

voila ...

Google News inside of Moodle!

You now have your Custom Google News inside of Moodle! This will update automatically - you don't have to do a thing to it!

I hope you enjoy this tip and use it in your class.