Thursday, November 15, 2012

Google Drive Research Tool

You've been there.   The open books, magazines, and resources spread out on the table, head snapping between the key words and quotes from the text and the notepad (or better yet, index card) on which your notes (and citations) will be stored for the research paper you will need to write eventually.

With a little help from technology, at least one part of that equation can be eliminated -- the painstaking (and often inaccurate) handwritten copying of research resources, quotations, and key elements.

With the update to Google Drive (formerly called Google Docs), a few other key updates were made.  The Google Research Tool is one of those updates.  The Research Tool (available when you are in a Google Document by clicking on Tools --> Research Tool) keeps your Google Document open on the left side of the screen, and then place a fully functional research window on the right side of the screen. Search Google from right within your Google Doc, find resources, images, quotes, or even use Google Scholar.

The beauty is that resources, citations, images, and quotes can all be dragged into your document with LIVE LINKS to the resources for later exploration.  It's kind of like turning the world of resources available on the web into a stack of selected resources from the stacks of a library, all sitting right there on your research resources piles.

Pretty impressive, but more importantly, very efficient.  Have your students regain their focus on the reading and selection of the resources instead of on the handwritten copying of that research (and citations, if they remember to do so) on to note cards or pads, to later re-write or type those citations into the actual paper.  Imagine the efficiency!