here are some more detailed ways to use Google tools to boost
productivity and student engagement:
1. You can use Google Forms to create all sort
of questions (we've previously written about about Google forms and
student self-reflection). For our purposes, though,
you can also use Google forms to collect quick homework / reading
check answers, poll students on their technology experience or
ownership as a set-up for class activities, or ask students to
briefly share their understandings of or questions about key
concepts. If you create a question on your form that asks for the
student's name, there's no need for your students to have their own
Google accounts to complete the form (you can set up your form as a
public or public with link form and allow anonymous submissions).
This is a great primer on the
benefits of using Google Forms for online surveys.
2. The way in
which Google displays search results has changed recently; Google has
added a Knowledge Graph
panel to the right of the returned search results. This panel
leverages Google's powerful analytics about what information users
are usually seeking when they search for a given term and which pages
they generally end up reading. While perhaps shepherding users toward
easy and common information, the Knowledge Graph is also helpful by
providing ready-made contextualization of information. If one doesn't
know a particular term or personage provided in the Knowledge Graph,
discovering the meaning or relationship is but a click away. This is
a nice piece about Knowledge Graph and
3. Are you a Google
Scholar user? Did you know that Google Scholar can
integrate with the catalog of your local library, telling you whether
material you've found is available nearby? Likewise, when paired with
your work in Google Docs, Google Scholar will actually locate and
then format your references in APA, Chicago, or MLA format.
this approach is a little clunkier and not as robust as one of the
paid citation / reference programs, but, hey, the price is right!
Last, Google scholar can tell you not only the number of citations a
certain piece has, but also produce a list of them. Read all about
these tricks in this post about Three Things You
Probably Didn't Know about Google Scholar.