Sunday, December 14, 2008

Google Jockeying

I got busy catching up on bookmarked sites last night. I've seen so much great stuff lately, but just haven't had the time to investigate them further.

One of these great sites was listed on EdTechTalk's 100 Bookmarks on Delicious. It's called 7 Things You Should Know and is a series of fact sheets about emerging learning technologies. They're all really great, but the one that I loved most of all, was the one about Google Jockeying. Why? Because I tried this even before I heard about it, and it feels good to know that it's a recognised teaching strategy and to see how to use it 'properly'!

I really recommend you check out the fact sheet, but basically, Google Jockeying is when one student sits at a computer and searches for relevant images, information etc about the topic while the teacher speaks to the class. This information is displayed for the class to see and the teacher can draw on the additional resources to support teaching, further discussion etc. The GJ (!) is responsible for thinking of appropriate sources, keywords etc and learns a lot through this process. The rest of the class is more engaged as they are receiving the information through multi-sensory means.

The fact sheet talks about this strategy in terms of a University setting, however it can work just as nicely in a Primary School classroom. I accidentally tried this idea while I was reading a story to the class and talking about the style of the illustrator. As there was a student computer right beside me, I got one of the students up to Google the illustrator's name and then we looked at a picture of her and read about her techniques. We also discussed how the author writes about environmental themes, which led us to plant pests like Rosy Dock and Patterson's Curse. Another kid jumped on the computer and Googled Patterson's Curse so we could see what it looked like. It was a very easy strategy, that even my Year 1s could handle. I realise that I was directing my students with this task, but wouldn't it be great to have a student working away at this in the background. Think of the potential with older kids! And if you have an interactive whiteboard or digital projector in the classroom, it would make the display of information more effective.

This is a strategy that I will be adding to my tool kit for use next year. What do you think?


  1. Wow that is a great idea, they all get a chance to develop focussed search skills, while having to think critically about the topic. I imagine it would be a highly valued position that gives ownership of learning back to the students.

    I really hope I have a data projector in my class next year, too many NZ classrooms are without. I intend trying this strategy as well, thank you.

  2. I'll try this next year. I've done it before , but with me initiating the searches -will be good to give kids more control/input and foster their keyword skills.


  3. I really love how you are so up to date meeting the childrens' needs with the ever changing technologies.Thanks Penny. Ali


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