Saturday, September 20, 2014

Google Drive Tips: The Research Tool

CC imaged use from

Today I wanted to talk to you about an under utilized feature of Google Drive, the built in research tool.  The built in research tool makes it so easy to add information from the web to your documents and presentations that you will be able to call yourself a tech ninja.  To access the research tool  choose Tools > Research. You can also select a word, right-click on it and select to Research it.

The Research panel opens on the right side of your document with information on the item you selected to research. The panel includes a search box where you can type the topic to research. Results appear in this pane, and you can choose Preview to look at a result. Click any found item to insert it into a document or presentation.Use the Research tool's dictionary to search for definitions, synonyms, and usage examples. You can use the tool for:
  • Websites, which can be linked and cited in the footnotes with the click of a button
  • Images, which can be dragged into documents and are automatically cited in the footnotes
  • Quotations, which can be dragged into documents, linked to the original source and cited in the footnotes
  • Articles from Google Scholar, which can be opened as PDFs or on the web, linked within the document and cited in the footnotes
  • Map images, which can be dragged into documents

Now all of that is great, but the best part of the research tool is the ability to site your sources automatically.  I know this is especially helpful in the elementary school setting.  The first thing though is to select a default format for citations added to your document or presentation, click the drop-down arrow below the search bar. Use the drop-down menus to choose from MLA, APA, or Chicago citation formatting.  Your selected citation format is applicable to citations for web results, images, quotations and article citations.

So if you haven't check out this Google Drive feature, take a look and you might just be impressed with what you find.