Digital Research

“A computer does not substitute for judgment any more than a pencil substitutes for literacy.”- Robert S McNamara

Our learners live in a connected world and daily use their digital devices to communicate and learn. It’s the main way they read the news and gather information about the world around them. We need to help our students reflect on the value and validity of the information they consume. We need to teach our students to have a critical eye when navigating the web. Below is a slide presentation (download a pdf for free) and video presentation sharing some of my favorite tips, tools, and resources to help you teach your learners about digital literacy and research.




  • The Kentucky Virtual Library has a digital research map with links. You can use this graphic to show an overview of what digital research entails.
  • Teach digital literacy, evaluation of online resources, bookmarking, curation, and annotation.
  •  Diigo (curate, aggregate, highlight, etc.), PearlTrees, Listly, Symbaloo, Livebinders, Pinterest, EasyBib, Linoit, Padlet, PenUltimate, Popplet, Ebsco Host, and Evernote
  • Favorite free research apps and mobile friendly tools- Flipboard (make a research magazine), Wikitude (Research via Augmented reality), Diigo (curate, aggregate, highlight, etc.), PearlTrees, Listly, Symbaloo, Livebinders, Pinterest, EasyBib, Linoit, Padlet, PenUltimate, Popplet, Ebsco Host, and Evernote
  • Try Google Drive apps and tools! Here’s a post with ideas!
  • Introduce your students to extensions to do mind-blowing things! Find some here and more here, and!
  • Students can take photos of their research, document their findings in observation logs, and access classification databanks with these incredible apps- (iOS/Android), Zydeco Inquiry (iOS), and BioKIDS (iOS).
  • Planning a field trip and want to get your students to do research at their destination? Try iPlanFieldTrips (iOS/Android) with teacher forms and calendars to plan field trips,  Hear Planet (iOS/Android) with audio tours for many destinations, and Museum Hunt (iOS) that get students to learn while playing a game.
  • Students can plan their research with these apps- Bounce by Idea Paint (iOS/Android), Super Research Idea Generator (iOS), Grafio Lite (iOS), Padlet (iOS/Android/iPad), LinoIt (iOS/Android), A Novel Idea (iOS), and Popplet (iOS).
  • Students can search multimedia databases with scholarly resources using these reference apps- Wikiwand (iOS/Android), ReadCube (iOS/Android), and Questria Research (iOS/Android).
  • These recommended apps motivate students to take better notes- Diigo (iOS/Android),  Evernote (iOS/Android), and Skitch (iOS/Android). Find more note-taking apps and tools in my post about brainstorming!
  • Teach student to bookmark, curate, annotate, and tag their research in engaging ways with these recommended apps- PearlTrees (iOS/Android), Livebinders (iOS/Android),  Educlipper (iOS), (iOS/Android), Pinterest (iOS/Android), and Flipboard (iOS).
  • Students can report their research with these free digital poster and infographic apps- (iPad), Canva (iPad), EduBuncee (iPad), Tackk (iOS/Android), and ThingLink (iOS/Android).
  • Show them how to cite resources with the EasyBib app and RefMe app.


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Digital Research, by shellyterrell
Research Apps, by shellyterrell

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