Google Docs Research Template – A Stepping Stone

Google Docs Presentation is well-suited for use as a tool for short student driven research projects because of the availability of efficient integrated research tools right on the page. Earlier this year I designed a template to introduce teachers to the usefulness of the tool.

The purpose of the template is for use as a starting point to help teachers plan and implement technology driven learning experiences that are fueled by Essential Questions and aligned to Common Core Standards. The template includes built in screencast tutorials to help students learn to use the technology. This allows teachers to focus on the content instead of being consumed by student questions about using the tech. After all, technology is a tool for learning, not a subject area. It is meant to be integrated, not isolated.


It should be noted that the template is like a recipe that produces end products that are all very similar, and it was designed to help teachers and student build their tech expertise and increase their comfort level with tech integration, but it is not the end goal. The goal for teachers is to eventually feel comfortable enough to design their own flexible lessons that allow them to get out of the way and let students make their own choices about which digital tools to use to complete research and present knowledge and ideas.  Please consider the template to be a helpful stepping stone to guide the learning.

The template is available for modification and reuse. Feel free to edit the topic. Just change the Essential Question and modify the template to create your own Multimedia Research project. Please use it to jump start the process of using technology as a tool for learning, but once you are comfortable, please keep going.

Multimedia Research Template

CCSS 3.W.7: Conduct a short research project to build knowledge about a topic

Digital Tool: Google Docs Presentation

Pickup a Copy of This Template

  1. You must be signed in to Gmail before you can pickup your own copy of this template. 
  2. Click on this link: Chicago Research Template
  3. Choose Use This Template and a copy will be added to your own list of Google Docs. 
  4. Feel free to edit the topic. Just change the Essential Question and modify to create your own Multimedia Research template.

Flubaroo: Automated Google Docs Self-Grading Quizzes

A truly remarkable teaching tool is one that can collect information to evaluate student performance and provide students and teachers with immediate feedback for modification, reteaching and challenge.

Until now, the best tool I’ve shared has been Using Google Docs Self-Grading Quiz as an Exit Ticket. This post has claimed the position of runner up in popularity of posts on this blog because many teachers recognize the need for quick and efficient ways to collect and use data to maximize and fine-tune instruction.

Great news! 

Flubaroo is a free and user friendly script that automates the steps of manually creating the self-grading quiz and adds additional functionality to the process. 

Flubaroo is easy to set up, it’s reliable and it’s far more efficient than the manual method I used to use and support.

What is Flubaroo?

Flubaroo is a free script you can easily add to the Google Docs Form to help you quickly grade multiple-choice or fill-in-blank assignments. Just follow the steps in the user’s guide to install Flubaroo and you will get access to a Flubaroo menu. This menu replaces the need to add functions manually to columns in a spreadsheet and it automates email results.

Watch Demo






Start Using Flubaroo

Flubaroo was designed by an awesome teacher. There is a complete, illustrated walk through to help users get up and running with the tool in a matter of minutes. It is very well done! 

Visit the Flubaroo website and follow the steps in the user’s guide.

Benefits of Use

Provide Immediate Feedback
Flubaroo will email results to students. For students without email you can easily publish the GoogleDocs Spreadsheet results and take advantage of student codes or pen names in place of actual names to protect student identities.

Modify and Fine-Tune Instruction
Quickly gauge student understanding and adjust instruction to provide for the reteaching, support and challenge indicated by the results of the quiz. Use the time you saved not grading to fine tune your instruction.

Explore Additional Ways to Use the Google Docs Form

If you haven’t used a Google Docs Form with students yet, this experience might open the doors to a variety of additional uses for collecting information from students via an exit ticket to provide students with opportunities to voice their opinions, express concerns, reflect and collaborate in the 24/7 classroom.

A Google Docs Template for Multimedia Research


The Google Docs Presentation is well-suited for use as a starting point  for short student driven research projects because of the availability of efficient integrated research tools right on the page. To introduce students and teachers to the built in features, I created a  simple template to guide the learning and help everyone discover the usefulness of the tool. 




Template Features

  • The planner can be used with any content. Just associate a learning goal with the template and it’s ready for use.
  • Built in tutorials allow students to explore the tools at their own pace.
  • The activity provides opportunities for teachers to help students fine tune their search skills as they engage in the research.
  • Of course, this is a template so it can be modified.

Tips:

  • Start with a simple learning goal  the first time you use the template to ensure student success.
  • To encourage collaboration, divide students into groups, have one group member pick up the template and ask that student to Share the copy of the document with others in the group.
  • Teach students to use the Comments feature to collaborate and provide feedback to other group members.

Take a Look at the Template



Pickup a Copy of This Template

  1. You must be signed in to Gmail before you can pickup your own copy of this template. 
  2. Click on this link: Research Planner
  3. Choose Use This Template and a copy will be added to your own list of Google Docs. Feel free to edit and modify.

Create Your Own Template

  1. Sign in to your Google account
  2. Create a new document or modify an existing one.
  3. Add your content and save.
  4. Go to your list of Google Docs.
  5. Choose Create New > From Template .
  6. On the new screen that appears, choose Submit a Template.
  7. Click on the link to Choose from yourGoogleDocs
  8. Complete the form with information about your template and submit.
  9. The template will become available in the gallery in a few minutes.
  10. Choose Preview to grab the link to publish so students can pick up your template.

An Interactive Tutorial: Google Presentation

Google Presentation is a great tool for helping students construct knowledge about a topic as they create. Here is an interactive tutorial designed to demonstrate how to use some of the handy built in features.

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If you are interested in learning more about the features in Google Docs Presentation, you might want to check out my recent post on GettingSmart.com.

Google Presentation for Collaborative Learning
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Edublogs 2012 Nominations



Nominations for 2012 Edublog Awards are open. 
The purpose of the Edublog Awards is to 
promote and demonstrate the educational values of these social media.” 



The nomination process supports the goal of the contest because it requires nominations via a blog post with a follow up link to that post submitted to Edublogs. What a great way to share, discover and credit the folks whose work inspires us and contributes to our own success!


My nominations for the 2012 Edublog Awards:

Individual Blog – The Innovative Educator

Group Blog – Mind Shift
EdTech Blog – Edudemic
Teacher Blog – Engage Their Minds
NewBlog – EduTech for Teachers
Library/Librarian Blog – The Daring Librarian
Administrator Blog – Life of an Educator
Twitter Hashtag – #edchat
Free Web Tool – ThingLink
Educational Wiki – Web Tools 4 You to Use
Social Network – Twitter

Learn more about the Edublogs awards.

Research Tool Added to Google Presentation


Good news for Google Docs users! The powerful integrated research tool made available in the Google Document last spring has made it’s way to the Google Presentation at last. The tool couldn’t be easier to use. Just pull down the Tools menu, click on Research and search for information in the research pane that appears on the right side of the screen. Users never have to leave the page.


This Research Tool is the perfect compliment to the Google Presentation because it supports the idea of using tech as a tool for learning rather than an add on at the end of a traditional unit of study. Students can find information, images, maps and quotes as they create a multimedia presentation without having to sort through the overwhelming amount of content yielded by a typical Google search.  Here are some of the highlights of the features found in the research pane:

  • Web results display a relevant snippet of information with citation information and a link to the full website. Select the Insert Link button to include a link to the full website in the document or select the Cite button to include a footnote citation in your document.
  • Maps are displayed in the search results when searching for geographic locations. Edit maps by zooming in and out and choose Insert to add the map to your body of your text.
  • Search for quotations with the click of a button, then choose the Insert button to include a properly formatted quotation in the document.
  • Choose Scholar to access a link showing the number of times an article has been cited and a list of sources that have cited the article. View the full website and insert a footnote citation into a document by selecting Cite.
  • Select your default citations format by clicking on Settings in the research pane. Choose from MLA, APA or Chicago.

Use the Research Tool to Check for Plagarism

In addition to the obvious ways to use the new integrated research tool, it can also be useful for checking for plagiarism. Just copy and paste a few sentences of text from a document directly into the search box of the research pane and the search will lead directly back to any article from which text has been plagiarized. I like to teach students how to do their own plagiarism check before turning in their work to help them understand the importance of creating original work.

What About Video?

Google Presentation already supports an efficient video tool. Just click on Insert Video to access a search tool for finding, previewing and embedding video into a presentation with the click of a button. Once again, users don’t have to leave the page.

Digital Tools for Differentiating Vocabulary: K12Online

If you’re looking for innovative ways to use free and user friendly digital tools to help students acquire vocabulary, please check out my session, Digital Tools for Differentiating Vocabulary Instruction at the K12OnlineConference. While you’re there you are sure to discover more terrific 20 minute sessions, available for viewing at your convenience.

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Teaching vocabulary today? Get ideas to “Kick it Up a Notch” at  conference.      innovate

Google Docs New Integrated Research Tool

Google Docs has many useful features for helping students develop writing skills. When I recently opened a Google Document to plan a teacher training on Using Google Docs to Facilitate a Writing Workshop I was pleasantly surprised to find a new and powerful integrated research feature which couldn’t be easier to use. Just pull down the Tools menu, click on Research and search for information in the research pane that appears on the right side of the screen. Users never have to leave the page.




A basic search yields results relevant to your document and displays a variety of information beyond text. Narrow your search with the click of a button to find images, scholarly information and quotations accompanied by buttons that allow users to do more. Here are some of the highlights found in features of the research pane:
  • Web results display a relevant snippet of information with citation information and a link to the full website. Select the Insert Link button to include a link to the full website in the document or select the Cite button to include a footnote citation in your document.
  • Maps are displayed in the search results when searching for geographic locations. Edit maps by zooming in and out and choose Insert to add the map to your body of your text.
  • Search for quotations with the click of a button, then choose the Insert button to include a properly formatted quotation in the document.
  • Choose Scholar to access a link showing the number of times an article has been cited and a list of sources that have cited the article. View the full website and insert a footnote citation into a document by selecting Cite.
  • Select your default citations format by clicking on Settings in the research pane. Choose from MLA, APA or Chicago.
In addition to the obvious ways to use the new integrated research tool, it can also be useful for checking for plagiarism. Just copy and paste a few sentences of text from a document directly into the search box of the research pane and the search will lead directly back to any article from which text has been plagiarized. I like to teach students how to do their own plagiarism check before turning in their work to help them understand the importance of creating original work.