Google has a little known and very underutilized tool available for use in Google docs and presentations called simply Research. However, the efficiency and potential time saver for this seemingly simple addition is enormous. Working in a library, we spend a lot of our lesson time trying to drive home the idea that students need to cite, whether it's information they get from a source or a picture in their presentation. The Google Research tool helps with that because it lets you do a search from directly within your document or presentation and then add a citation for information or add and cite a picture quickly and easily.
The research tool can be found under the Tools menu and Research. Once opened, you can do a general Google search, or limit your search to images, scholar, quotes, dictionary, or tables. From the list of search results, you can then preview each result, click on the link to go out to the full page on the web, insert a link for the result into your doc, or cite the result within your document. Now, while the citation features is great, it does provide citations as footnotes, so for most students, they will still need to do some editing to make sure their citations are formatted correctly in their paper or presentation. Additionally, when searching images, results can be filtered by usage rights so students are only searching for images that are free to use. When you find an image, you can simply drag it onto your document or presentation, and a citation is automatically generated for the image, again as a footnote.
Overall, when having students work on papers and projects in Google docs and presentations, the Research tool can be a helpful way for them to find and easily cite information and images. It can be especially helpful for younger students who are still working on really understanding the importance of citations, and provide them with an easy way to find and include that in their projects. Additionally, instead of doing a regular Google search for images and videos, it can be an easy way to add images and videos to presentations, searching ones that are reusable by copyright, and easily adding them to a project.
Click this link for more information from Google on using the tool.
Here is a link to another blog post with step by step directions and pictures on the different features.
Final link - same blog as above, but a different post on adding images and videos to presentations with the research tool.