How I Use It
Paper.li is a digital multiple-source newspaper. Much like other multiple-source readers, Paper.li content is pulled from a variety of news sources, RSS feeds, tweets, videos and photos. Students can set up streams of content based on interests, such as technology, education, or the arts, and based on favorite news sources, such as CNN, NYTimes and Engadget.
In the classroom, my students use Paper.li during their literacy period. Students take 10 to 20 minutes, depending on their familiarity with various news sources, to set up their Paper.li account. The set up process can be time consuming if students are not well informed on the types of feeds available, or if they are vetting traditional RSS feeds versus Twitter feeds. After the set up process, Paper.li delivers individualized content to the student in a traditional newspaper-like format via an email link. Once students have received their first Paper.li link, they read articles from their Paper.li and participate in either a discussion or write a review of what they read. Overall, Paper.li is a great web app to help students become familiar with non-fiction writing and encourages reading articles both in an interest and outside of the familiar.
Paper.li is a great news-source tool for both reluctant readers and advanced students. Because content can be chosen based on student interest, Paper.li does deliver engaging stories and videos. However, it is important to note that even though high-interest content is delivered based on student preference, struggling readers may find some content to be challenging due to higher lexile levels.
Paper.li is easy to set up, but is slightly more difficult to modify once published. Also, Paper.li delivers content based on priority, so to ensure students get a mix of resources, news source providers may need to be reordered to give more variety. For example, I found that I was getting too much content from the Wired RSS feed, than say, NYTimes due to the placement of the providers in the content setup.
Overall, the free edition works well, is integrated with social media, and allows for student choice, but has some drawbacks such as content caps of 25 news feeds (though this seems to be enough for high school users) and advertisements.