Google Scholar is one of the simplest ways to perform academic searches on the internet. Simply enter search terms in the search bar as you would with Google, and Google Scholar will identify, journal articles and many other scholarly resources. If you are unfamiliar with Google Scholar, check out our handout here! And read on for some of the newest tips!
1: Google Scholar will tell you if your library has access to the article you want.
This is an added feature that will tell you if you can access the specific article through UIS. Simply add a Library Preference, and Google Scholar will highlight the articles to which you have instant access!
- Log in to Google
- Navigate to Google Scholar
- Click on “Scholar Preferences”
- Choose “Library Links” and search for your library and choose “Find Library” (Troubleshooting note: you may also have to be logged in to your library proxy to make this work, but there is help text on the Library Links page).
2: Google Docs now integrates a “Research Feature.”
When in Google Docs, under the Tools option on the toolbar in your document, click Research. This will allow you to complete a search on the web. If you select an article from the results that pop up, Google will cite the article from you! You can choose from APA, Chicago, and MLA styles—talk about a time saver for both you and your students!
3: Google Scholar will generate a list of those publications that have cited the article in the past.
Seeing the number of times an article was cited is definitely a characteristic many users look for to determine exactly how credible the article is. Next time, try clicking on this number and you will receive a list of all publications that have cited the article! This is a great way to view other resources that may be valuable to the particular topic you are researching.
Did you know that recently Google Docs integrated with Google Drive? These two apps teamed up to create an incredible resource for all users of Google apps. When you download Google Drive, you get a cloud-based storage system providing you with 5GB of free storage space. In addition, Google Docs automatically becomes fully integrated in Google Drive, providing you with the benefits of both. Check out some of our favorite tips!
1: Take Advantage of OCR! (Optical Character Recognition)
Google Drive has a seriously great talent; it allows you to search your documents and can recognize just about anything. Aside from regular text in documents, this feature will recognize text in PDFs and scanned papers (even newspapers!), and sometimes even recognizable parts of pictures (like famous monuments).
2: Use the Send To shortcut!
- Open up Windows Explorer and in the browser, enter %APPDATA%/Microsoft/Windows/SendTo
- A new window will appear with the contents of your Send To folder. Along the left side of the screen, you will see Google Drive. Right click Goolge Drive, and drag it into the folder. Release it, and choose Copy Here.
- Now Google Drive will be added to your Send To folder! Whenever you want to add a document to your Google Drive, simply right click on the document, choose Send To, and then choose Google Drive! Such a simple shortcut!
3: Access all your Previous Revisions!
Ever save a document and wish you had the previous version? With Google Docs, you will no longer have that problem! Google Docs automatically saves every version of your document without requiring any action on your end. From Google Drive, select the file you want. From the toolbar, click More, and manage Revisions. A list of previous version is displayed. Clicking one saves it to the browser’s default download folder. It can then be opened or moved to wherever you want, even back to Google Drive.
Last week, we posted several helpful tips on working with groups online for projects, papers, or other classroom activities. As promised, this week I will be posting some excellent (and free!) web-based tools that can greatly help with organization and communication among members when it comes to working with groups in an online environment. Here are a few tools you can share with your students that will definitely provide them with the foundation for a great group project:
This is perhaps one of the best collaboration tool we have come across. It is highly functional, easy to use, and very convenient when members have Gmail accounts. Users are able to collaborate live on the same document with group members and utilize instant messaging chat features-it’s a great alternative if you are unable to meet in person, which is often the case with online classes!
This free online tool is really neat and easy to use. A user begins a new document and then invites the collaborators. They make their edits and it is tracked just like in Word and Google Docs so you can view who did what. Then you can track the revisions and everything as well!
This tool is great for group projects and serves as a central location for everyone to gather and store their documents, organize tasks, and more!
OneNote is tool that is not normally free, but students can use the Web App version through SkyDrive (which is a little more limited, but still has many of the great features!) or they can connect to a campus computer using Citrix XenApp to access the full version. With OneNote, group members are able to create notebooks and share them with others-since it is web-based, they can access it from anywhere. All group members are then able to work on the document live!
Improving communication and access may be just what your students need for successful group projects so be sure to share our tips and tools with them!
It’s getting to that point in the semester where students may be getting a little restless in class and you might be finding the good ol’ PowerPoint just isn’t really making the cut. If you are feeling a little adventurous and want to step out of the “comforting zone” of PowerPoint, check out these options for your next presentation! They are all free and web-based!
Prezi allows you to create a unique, dynamic presentation that is completely different than PowerPoint or any of the other slide-based presentation tools around! Focus in on specific words, phrases, pictures, or whatever you wish, and use the zooming and panning feature to highlight what is most important. Prezi keeps the audience alert to listen to what you say (since the entire text isn’t available for them to see on the screen) and to see what pops up next!
While SlideRocket does use the format of flipping from slide to slide, the possibilities for making it stand out are endless. SlideRocket offers an incredible set of design tools- themes and layouts, shapes, charts, tables, pictures, audio, HD video, and Flash. Share presentations with a click by distributing a URL, collaborate with others in the slide library, and get inspired through watching other professionally designed presentations!
Always keep in mind that the internet offers so many great presentation tools for free, so don’t panic if you don’t have PowerPoint installed on your computer-you have options! Some other tools to check out are Empressr, Google Docs, and 280Slides. Happy Presenting!
As a college student myself, I have blogged many times about free web-based tools to share with students that will potentially save them money. Software such as the Microsoft Office suite may seem necessary for students to purchase; however, the Internet offers so many free options (such as Google Docs or Office Live) that create the same final product. I simply can’t get enough of resources like this, so here is another to add to the list: Zoho.
Zoho is in its own category here because of the wide variety of free applications it offers; it seems almost too good to be true. From creating meetings complete with sharing desktops to creating word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, reports, and planners, Zoho offers a variety of options that would be considered “upgrades” in other free web-based programs. Some apps have limitations, for example users are only able to remote support five 2-hour sessions each month, but Zoho is a wonderful alternative to purchasing pricy programs that may not be used frequently.
Check out Zoho to see what it can do for you, and be sure to share it with your students. Applications are divided into categories including collaboration, business, and productivity, and new ones are continuously being added!
The majority of your students (and perhaps you as well) probably have accounts with Google for email. But do you really know what else you can do with it? Well, many things. But for starters, Google Docs offers a great application, especially for busy college students completing group projects.
Google Docs offers users the ability to collaborate live on the same document and make edits, at no charge. Users are able to open their documents from their personal computers anywhere, make their own edits, see the edits of others, and use the chat feature to discuss with their group members. It’s easy to use, and makes completing group work a much more simple and enjoyable assignment. Check out our Google Docs handout for information on how to use this great feature.
Share this great tip with them and they will be able to avoid the dreaded task of finding a location and time that works with the entire group’s crammed schedules. And lookout for workshops in the spring to learn more about Google Docs and the other great applications offered for free by Google!