Friday, December 4, 2015

Google Gifts: Research Tool in Google Docs, Drawings, & Slides

During the weekdays of December, we're sharing one tool per day.  We're calling it our Google Gifts series.  Some of these come directly from Google, and others are tools that enhance Google Apps or Chrome.  Today, we're sharing the Research Tool that you can find inside of Google Docs, Google Drawings, and Google Slides.

The Research Tool is one of your options when you use the "Tools" pull-down in Docs, Drawings, and Slides.  Once selected, it opens a window on the right side with different research options.  If you have a word highlighted or have your cursor in a word, it automatically enters that as your search term.

Why would I use it?  What does it do?

Research & information fluency is not only one of our ISTE standards (ISTE-S.3), but it's addressed in Common Core as well (CCRA.W.8).   For students, having external information (or images) that can be pulled into a document from within the document can be a time-saver. For sources, you can specify which citation format you want to use (MLA, APA, or Chicago), and it will insert it for you.   

Instructionally, this won't replace an online database for formal research, but if you want students to reinforce their ideas with images, incorporate famous quotations, and/or if you would like them to start learning about citations, this could be a good entry point.  

Google Search
Image Search
Quotes Search

When doing an image search, you can limit your results to only display those that are free to use.  You can then just drag the picture you like into your document.

Where can I learn more?

Google has a support article on using the Research tool.  And, in addition to finding this option on the web version of Google Docs, Android users can use this on their mobile devices.

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