Get Ahead of Your Research

There are many ways you can get ahead of you research within and outside of the classroom. Many of these tips and tricks have been documented, however are rarely utilized or even known. As a coach, I want to share some tips that will help educators and students within their web researching.


When you want to find keywords, phrases, or any content within a web search or within a website your time is too valuable. Do yourself a favor and turn on quick find with using CTRL F or ⌘ F. This will provide you or your students an immediate method of scanning the web for content without wasting reading unwanted research.

Need a File?

Sometime you need a specific file type for your research on the web. By using this technique you can search for any subject and file type extension (ppt, doc, pdf, jpeg, etc.)

Subject:docx For instance if I was doing research on GMO and I needed a PDF I would search gmo:pdf

Real-time Information

With Google Trends you have the best chance at finding the latest information, articles, images, videos, and websites about current events that are tending through Google searches. Classrooms can easily get creative with authentic topics of study, compare data analysis, learn more about global cultures and trending topics.

Comfortable Reading

Readability: provides a better way to read online, turning any web page into a comfortable reading view right in your web browser. This Chrome extension will clear the page of images, unwanted text, ads and make reading your web research easy on the eyes. Additionally, this tool will allow for font size changes, invert colors, and printing.


Read Between the Range

Really interesting tip is the usage of adding a date range or price range to limit your searches for articles only published within a time frame or comparing cost of a product. Here’s the tip, the next time you want to limit the date range of of subject (of when the site/article was published) do the following.

Note: You can substitute the dates with prices to limit searches on products or items that fall in between the price range.

No Need for Paper Notes 

There are a good handful of note-taking apps available (Google Keep, Wunderlist, Evernote, Onenote…) and everyone has their choice of selecting the most appropriate one for yourself. I would say over the past few years I’ve tried each and I’m very happy with either Google Keep and Wunderlist (check my post about the differences). I do find with GAFE schools teachers/students have better opportunities to link their research to their documents with Keep. Here are a few videos on how to use Keep for the classroom.

3 Step Highlight

Get the following extensions installed (Readability, Simple Highlighter, Save to Google Drive

This is a different take on student research and formatively assessing how/what students are searching. 

1. Have student search an article/site/source online for whatever project/lesson for the day. Students do not need to use Readability, however this extension allows for easy viewing for students and teachers. 

2. Once a student has found their article and has cleaned off the screen with Readability, now have them use Simple Highlighter to annotate the page. 

3. Finally students can turn in the page by using the Save to Google Drive extension (this takes a screenshot of the entire page and save it to the students Google Drive. Students then have the opportunity to share via Drive or turn it in through their LMS.