How I Use It
This is not a glamorous tool, but it does quickly and efficiently something that all students need to do in the upper grades - bibliographies.
I used to use the website version of EasyBib with my students, but they recently added integration with google docs (making it even easier and AD-FREE). Now I:
1. Have my students get the add-on for EasyBig in google docs. This takes five minutes.
2. I demonstrate how to add one sample website and one sample book-based resource for research. I usually do something very simple like pigs.
3. I have students create a document about a simple subject. I have them look up one good website about the topic and find one simple related book.
4. I have them add the appropriate information using the EasyBib add-on and then check out the formatting of the result.
Then I give them a quick explanation of how it will be used when they do their big (right around the corner) research project. When we start the research project, I provide 10 minutes at the end of every session for students to make sure their bibliographies are up to date.
Periodically, I have them show each other their lists of sources. When I meet with students during the research and project work phases, I always have them start by showing me the bibliographies. This lets me track progress and also emphasises the importance of proper citation and intellectual property.
Easybib is not a learning tool per se. Its core function is to allow students to create accurate bibliographies and to allow teachers to focus on supporting student research. As such, it is a valuable tool.
When students get bogged down in the FORMAT of their bibliographies, they focus far less on their research. When teachers have go over the details of how to FORMAT bibliographies, they are not doing what is most important with students (helping them with research). Easybib formats bibliographies correctly and lets everyone focus on what really matters in the classroom setting.
It can be used as well to organise research information (and thereby presentations, papers, and projects) though it is not usually my students' favourite tool for this task. Integration with google docs makes it even more useful.