Researching with Google Docs

 Google research tools

Researching with Google Docs

Get young students started with basic research tools and Google Docs. Lear how to include extensions like Google Keep and Nimbus to collect resources. Use add-ons like EasyBib to cite sources.

Extensions and add-ons

This issue took an interesting turn. I originally wanted to create an issue covering infographics. I quickly realized that the issue would be more useful as a guide for writing a research document. This isn’t a document for college or professional research. The goal is to provide teachers and students up to middle school with some basic tools to get students started with basic research assignments. Research, writing, and citation skills are important in high school and at college level. We need to get students started with some fundamental tools.

This issue covers the use of several Google applications to gather information. These tools include Google Keep to collect web resources. It is useful at collecting web sources and organizing those resources. There are extensions we will use to add functionality to Google Chrome. These extensions include Nimbus and Reader View. Google Docs uses add-ons to add features. We will use the EasyBib add-on to help build our citations page. We will use Google Drawings to construct a basic bubble map graphic organizer. With Google Docs comment option we will provide feedback to students on their work. There are various ways to publish our finished document and we will explore three of those options.

Research sources

There are concepts we want to assure students acquire during the lesson. There is information we want students to learn. There is usually a guiding question that drives the lesson. There are thousands of resources on the Internet. Researching with a search on Google may not deliver the results you want from students.

As adults we have learned how to filter some information from the noise. Students have not learned to do this yet. There are a couple of ways to help students get to the information we want them to acquire. I would begin with a guided search for basic information on the topic. Talk about the sources that are relevant and why the information on the site might be valid. Is the information verifiable using other resources? Is the information from a Primary or secondary source?

Research tools

To develop content for the document we need to gather information from a variety of sources. Not all sources have to be online. Libraries are always a good source for primary information. Primary sources are original materials used for other researches. Secondary resources are works that site the original works. It is good to use primary sources whenever they are available. We will be using online sources in these lessons. Many online resources are not primary or secondary resources of information. I have selected two that are pretty reliable.

When doing research we need to collect and organize information. I will use Google Keep to collect and organize my research information. I published an issue on March 1, 2019 that covers the use of Google Keep in the classroom. To effectively use Keep in our research we need to install the extension. Another tool we will use is one that takes screen shots. The tool I prefer is Nimbus. This tool is available as an extension from the Chrome Web Store.


Extensions are small applications that add functionality to an existing application. Extensions become part of the primary application like Google Chrome. They work as an extension of the application to allow the application to do more. Some extensions are already applications that lend their services to Google Chrome. Google Keep is an application that provides and extension for Google Chrome. The extension brings Keep services to Chrome. The extension allows us to remain on a web page and use the Keep application.

Gathering Information

In the lesson students have the freedom to use any resource they feel is relevant. I like to provide a set of links to get them started in the right direction. These are links to resources I have curated for the project. The links are available on my classroom support site and on the lesson document.

The links on my classroom site are in the research page of the science section. The links include resources for Wikipedia and Wikimedia commons. These resources are used to collect images. The images in Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons are either in the public domain or part of Creative Commons.

Learn more by reading the issue.