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Student Research Tips for Chromebook

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The 1:1 chromebook program here at WHS has created new tools and opportunities for students to do research.  Whether you are working on a research paper for English class or just curious about a topic you can put your chromebook to work for you to make sure you find the credible, reliable information you need.

Is the site credible?

It is more important than ever for students to be able to determine if a website they are on is giving credible, reliable information.  Check the following characteristics of a credible, reliable website:
– Check the URL extension.  Most urls can be purchased by individuals.
.com usually indicates a website that has a product in mind.
.org indicates a nonprofit organization.  These can be good sources of information                   but be aware of the organization’s agenda.
 .gov or .edu are reserved for government or education purposes and are almost                        always considered credible, reliable sources.
– Author, date, and sources.  Credible websites generally list the name of the author, the     date the research was conducted, and sources where the author obtained their
– Poor site design, grammar, spelling.  Be aware of websites that don’t have a professionally designed site or one where grammar and spelling errors are evident.

Dive into the research.

One way to make sure you are always using credible websites is to use a starting point that is designed for doing research.  There are many databases and resources for this purpose.  Here are two we recommend:

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Google Scholar
:   Google Scholar works just like the Google search engine but instead of searching all websites it only searches scholarly articles, journals, books, periodicals, etc.  Scholar allows you to sort results by date so you can be sure you are receiving current information.  Another great feature is My Library which will allow you to store search results to access later.  Be sure to also check out the My Scholar button that can be installed to your chrome browser.

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Infohio:  Infohio is a digital library full of free resources for Ohio public school students.  There are a lot of databases targeted directly towards doing research.  From the homepage click on the grades 9-12 high school link.  Look through the different databases and find one that suits your needs.  If you are not sure where to start we recommend Ebscohost.  It is one of the most comprehensive databases you can find anywhere.

Apps and Extensions for Research.

Chromebooks allow students to install apps and extensions to make research even more effective.  These apps can be found at the Chrome Web Store.

Docs Research Mode – One feature that is already in your drive is research mode.  When you have a doc opened click on tools -> research.  This will open a small google toolbar on the right hand side for you to do research without even leaving Google Docs.  You can even use it for Google Scholar.  Another great tip when using docs is to try out suggestion mode for doing peer reviews.

Diigo – “Bookmark, Archive, Screenshot & Markup – All-In-One Web Collector, must-have research tool”…  Diigo is a research organizer that will allow you to highlight, annotate, and store your work as you go along.

Evernote – Evernote is a popular note-taking and organization tool that be used across multiple devices.  This means you can take notes from your phone while riding the bus and then add to them from your chromebook at home.  You really just have to try out Evernote to decide if it is right for you.

Super Simple Highlighter  – What research experience would be complete without highlighters.  Keep it simple with this straight forward extension.

Finally a quick note about working offline.  There is app called Pocket that allows you to save websites and offline mode in Google Docs makes it so that you can work on your papers while not on wifi.  Learn more here.

Happy researching – give us feedback on what worked for you or other chromebook-friendly research tips you find.