Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Being a Google Jockey

I just sat in on Erin Robson's session on Inquiry in English classrooms. She showed us how to use Inspiration, a mind mapping tool, to help students start an inquiry. Erin uses a KWL process and has one student driving the computer while she is facilitating the discussion. I got to be the student (learn about why we use students as Google Jockeys)

There were about 15 of us in the session, and we help Erin brainstorm around "Why Zombies are still so popular?" as a part of the Unknown unit in grade ten English.

Three things I thought would others might like:
  • Outline view - you can change your mindmap into an outline that students can write from. It helps students students go from brainstorming issues to structuring in a linear manner.
  • Photos and Google advanced searches. Erin showed how to use the new Google search tools. I think teachers need to remember about copyright - we need to address that issue more as professional development people at central office.
What I would have liked more of:
  • I'm not sure we should have had 1/2 hour sessions in general. I think it almost always made the sessions rushed, and reduced the time where we might have discussed or practiced on our computers
  • I liked it when Erin explained why she did what she did. More examples of student work or explanations of why would have helped me in her session, and in the other sessions I went to.

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