Research to Build and Present Knowledge is one of the anchor standards in the Writing strand of the Common Core Standards. As your students gather information during the research process, they’ll most likely be using a variety of technology tools.
Many of you may know the EasyBib website as a source for quickly creating citations using different styles for a variety of media. Recently, the site has also added the ability to do research from within the EasyBib site. While this is still in beta, it has a number of features that will be helpful to users doing research projects.
- Ease of use – type in a search term and the results are listed on the page. A menu on the left side of the page lists source categories such as web sites, journal articles, online databases, etc. and shows the number of results for each.
- Variety of sources – in addition to the source menu, you’ll also be able to click on tabs that will sort the results by academic, online or all sources
- Create citation – once you’ve explored a source, you can return to the search results and click on the “Cite It” button. This will create your citation and place it in a bibliography.
- Integration with Google Docs – click on the Save to Google Docs button at the top of your bibliography list. When you do this, you’ll be prompted to “Grant Access” to EasyBib from Google Docs. Alternatively, there is a dropdown at the top of your bibliography list that will allow you to check only certain citations that will be exported to your Google Docs account. Using either method, you’ll be able to create your research report, or if you’re working collaboratively you can then invite others to add to your Google Doc.
- Integration with Microsoft Word – click on the Print as Word Doc button at the top of your bibliography. This will download a Word document that you can save on your computer. With all of your citations properly formatted, you’ll be ready to begin creating your research report.
We previously reviewed another site, InstaGrok, as a source for doing research projects in the classroom. InstaGrok doesn’t create citations, but it does provide ease of use, access to a variety of sources, and the ability to “pin” a website you’ve visited to a journal contained within the site. The journal allows you to instantly take notes related to what you’ve read, keeping all of your thoughts and responses neatly organized in one place. EasyBib’s integration with Google Docs and Microsoft Word means that you’d ideally need to wait until all your sources are gathered before exporting your citations. Both EasyBib and InstaGrok are great tools for the research process and perhaps you’ll find that they complement each other in ways that support your students.
Are you using either of these tools for research projects with your students? If not, what others can you suggest?