Digital Tools to Enhance Students' Searching Skills

And you thought Google is the only way for all your search and research work!

Well there are other amazing tools that can help you with the research and some of them are listed below. 

Check out this list of tools that can help you with your research (Yes, I know Google will always be the first thing for you).

1. Artcyclopedia

A great platform for art students. Get the information that you need related to study of arts. Their huge database covers individual artists, movements and museum collections. Get access to works by over 8200 artists online. Most of the listed artists are painters and sculptors but you will also come across photographers, decorative artists and architects. Anybody searching for anything related to art can benefit from this site.

2. InstaGrok

An intelligent visual search engine and interactive learning tool that collects educational content and displays it in the form of a cloud of related words.

The tool is very appealing as a variety of multimedia features makes it unique and meets the learning needs of students. In addition to the visual map, content is displayed in the form of text, images, video and web links. Also, students can use the handy slider tool to access usable information by self-selecting the level of difficulty of results displayed. In addition to the visual mode, an integrated journal and note-taking feature allows users to take notes without leaving the site. Click on the pushpin to add content to the journal then add original thoughts and ideas as notes.  The journal can be emailed or printed for convenience.

3. Wolfram Alpha

Popularly known for its mathematically functions, the tool has a lot to offer on various topics like socioeconomic data to history and what not. Students can easily find summaries of topics.  

4. BioMedCentral

A collection of over 170 biology, chemistry and medical journals. All the articles that are published on the site are peer-reviewed to ensure that they are accurate and appropriate for use as a reference material. The material on the site is free but for some of the journals user may require a subscription service to access. 

5. InternetHistorySourcebook

A collection of historical texts specially formatted for educational use. Ancient, medieval, modern or anything related to history; you will get loaded information to work for any of your history projects.   

6. DigitalHistory

Another platform for the history heads that seek information on U.S. history. The platform offers an up to date textbook, as well as essays on film, private life and science and technology and visual histories about Lincoln’s America and America’s reconstruction. The site also includes numerous reference materials including a great collection of audio-visual material. And if you have a question to which you cant find the answer, there is a feature that allows you to pose questions to professional historians. Time spent on research may end up connecting with great historians.          

7. Research Guide for Student

This website may not look that appealing but its actually pretty useful. The site is good for students involved in writing. It provides guidelines for the technical aspects of writing a paper such as layout, styles and will also give you links to other research resources on mostly every topic. And those who are writing about classic literature, the site will just surprise you with the resources that are work-specific.      

8. Project Gutenberg

If you cant seem to find a text, this site links up with free online providers giving access to over 100000 books. If you want to visit a library in the comforts of your house, this site is a great way to access all the information.        

9. SparkNotes

A great tool to help students get to grips with literature, Spark Notes offers a comprehensive database of summaries, character analyses and thematic breakdowns for hundreds of classic works, from Shakespeare to The Great Gatsby.

10. Mendeley

Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research.

Here is what you can do with Mendeley:

-- Automatically generate bibliographies.

-- Collaborate easily with other researchers online.

-- Easily import papers from other research software.

-- Find relevant papers based on what you’re reading.

-- Access your papers from anywhere online.

-- Read papers on the go, with their phone apps.

11. Twitter - Do you know Twitter’s role in education, and how it can even help us in our researches, studies and presentations? As an educator, you know that when students are given a writing assignment, many of them may need a bit of help to get it done on time. Did you know that it’s possible to turn to Twitter for some help? The social media micro-blogging tool can help students write a great paper in a number of different ways. Explore more!

And Some Student Friendly Search Engines: Must for Younger Students

à iPL2

A public service organization and a learning/teaching environment manned by students and volunteer librarians which features searchable resource collections for kids and teens, as well as an “Ask a librarian” section.

à SweetSearch

A Search Engine for Students. It searches only credible Web sites approved by Internet research experts

à KidsClick

A web search site designed for kids by librarians – with kid-friendly results!

Share your experience with these tools and also mention if you know any other that qualifies for the title! 

About the Author
Author: Priyanka Gupta
Priyanka is a blogger by profession and has an increasing interest to write about the edtech space. While writing she keeps in mind the educators to come up with right resources and ideas which might be relevant for them in relation to effective use of technology in their profession and institutions/classrooms.
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