Personal start-up pages or PSP’s are a good way to organize what read/write/do on the internet. There are a few different ones out there and probably even a few more that I am not aware of. Currently I am using Pageflakes and Netvibes. As well, there is IGoogle and MyYahoo. I will try and give you a brief overview of Pageflakes and Netvibes.
Pageflakes is a start page that is organized by tabs and within each tab are modules or “flakes.” You can add flakes of any type. For example I have flakes for a calendar, weather, top news, beta bloglines, podcasts (such as podcast for teachers, and twitter to name a few. Each time you sign in, the flakes are updated automatically. You can publish your PSP into what is called a Pagecast. A Pagecast can be public or private.
There is a teacher edition (1.1) that has education related flakes. It contains an schedule maker, grade tracker, a to-do list, a feed from the Department of Education, on-line storage with box.net and a host of other flakes. It is an easy way to organize information that you can access right at your fingertips. As well you could use this as a teaching tool for students. Students can taught how to use the RSS feeds on topics of interest. I would try this out yourself first, as some of the content coming in may not be appropriate.
Netvibes is similar to Pageflakes as it allows you to use pre-set modules or choosing your own. Netvibes has built in calendar, mail, to-do, bookmark and various other modules. They also have the Netvibes ecosystem which is a place where people have created modules, tabs, and feeds. Currently I have tabs named general, ed blogs, ed feeds, math pilot, and math. I found it easy to set-up my .mac account to read my mail on Netvibes. Another interesting feature is the archive option. Instead of deleting a module permanently, you can archive it and retrieve it at a later time.
I have not tried IGoogle and MyYahoo but after taking a quick look at them, they appear to be similar. You may be more comfortable using them if you have email accounts set-up with them already.
Overall I do not prefer one over the other, what I do like is having everything centralized in one location.