LSJ Editors' Blog: Live Googling in the classroom

30 August 2006

Live Googling in the classroom

At the ACRLog Steven is blogging about a new phenomenon: "Google Jockeys," asking if the concept could be applied to conference sessions. This is new to me, but apparently some professors have assistants who Google key terms and display the results in real time while they are giving a lecture or presentation. The idea is to show the class or audience what further resources are available and how to find them on the internet.

According to an Educause report:
The skill of the Google jockey has a considerable bearing on the usefulness of the exercise. Google jockeying teaches both the jockey and the audience about efficient, targeted Internet research, but a novice jockey can be a drag on the main presentation. Although many benefit from the educational component that Google jockeying adds, some students—and faculty—are not comfortable multitasking and will find the practice more distracting than helpful.

This report, by the way, is part of the EDUCAUSE "7 things you should know about" series, which provides a handy monthly primer on useful emerging technologies.


Blogger Jim Milles said...

I found the Educause article very intriguing. I do something like Google jockeying in my Law Library Administration course. While the students are presenting their readings for each week, I sometimes pull up websites that illustrate the points they're talking about.

In fact, I have some tentative plans to renovate a classroom in the Law Library with dual screens and LCD projectors for just this sort of use.

Blogger Eli Guinnee said...

Interesting, Jim. I think it's a great opportunity to teach internet research techniques and tools, but is it not sometimes distracting for the audience to have to concentrate on two things at once? Or are students these days used to "multitasking," so to speak, in this way?


Blogger burlapwax said...

I agree that this could be a very disorienting instructional tactic for students, especially if they have ADHD or visual impairments that force them to concentrate intently. It's tough enough when there's one instructor quickly pulling up search results...students can get lost very quickly.

But to play devil's advocate for a second here, I'm actually a fan of this sort of multi-tasking instruction on a personal level. My favorite part of bringing a laptop to class is actively researching topics online as the instructor moves forward.

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