May 22, 2012

Google Docs Research Tool

Last week I was working with a student in Google Docs and as I peered over to the right hand side of the document (usually a continuation of the page) there it was...a research tool to use within Docs.  Essentially it is like a little Google Search right there within your document.  You can search the web, images, places, even quotations to use in your document.  One of the most useful features in my opinion is the ability to cite a footnote right from within your document.  All you have to do is place your cursor where you want to create a citation and then hover over the site in the research tool and click on "cite".  It will add the superscript number and also the footnote at the bottom of the page.  Check out the screenshot below to see the research tool in action.

Now What?

The research feature in Google Docs is just one of the many reasons that I find Google Docs to be an excellent alternative to proprietary word processing programs.  It is also a demonstration of the fluid nature of the program and how updates are constantly being developed.  This tool is obviously excellent for students to use while they are working on a research paper but also teachers who are developing plans or documents.

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