Google Tools and Apps
I love Google. I hate to say it..really, there's a part of me that cringes at the thought of admitting it to you, but I do love Google.
It's because I prefer my students not "google" their research. I'm a librarian, though, and I know how, well...academically dangerous googling can be. So, I push the databases that my campus subscribes to and has available. I tell them that I don't want them to go to Google the first day they're in the library researching for their projects, if it can be avoided. (Because I do realize that sometimes it can't be.) And, then, I teach them how to Google (or use Yahoo, or Dogpile, or MSN Live Search, or whatever.)
But I do suggest GoogleTools to my students. I use Google Notebook for myself at home. Honestly, that was how I started my own "jacked-up" version of an RSS feed. Then I learned about Blogrolling and then Internet Explorer came with a bookmark section just for feeds! WHEEEE! There's too many good things around!
What I really like about the Notebook though is that You can get a screen shot, and can make notes as to why you bothered to clip that info. With my bookmarks, and sometimes the RSS feeds, I go back and wonder what I was thinking when I decided to save that page. I did create a couple of new notebooks, under the guise of the "Mean Old Library Teacher." One is for things I run across while participating in Library2Play. The other is for things I collect to use while serving on the Facilities Committee for the new high school we'll be building. Both will be linked in my sidebar under "Place to go."
I opted to look at Google Scholar for the second part of this discovery activity. Of all the Google apps and tools, this is the only one I felt I had much use for that I hadn't played with yet. I like it pretty well, but feel like I might get more immediate useable information through my databases. Or that I can't print what I've pulled up. It was nice to pull up a book abstract and have it provide places to purchase the title--since not everything can be purchased on Amazon. (ssssshhhh...don't let them hear me say that!) So, while there's pros to using Google Scholar, there are cons. I think I'll stick with my databases for scholarly research.
This work is licensed by Jennifer Turney under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.