17 Nov Google for students: a list of my favourite services

The famous Google logo. Source: Wikimedia

Do you remember the days before the Google era? Probably not, most students have never even used an offline encyclopedia to research essay’s and papers. But Google offers us students so much more! In this post, I’ll take you on a virtual journey through some of Google’s most useful services and products for students.

Docs, Slides, Sheets and more!

You probably know Google Drive, it’s a  cloud service similar to Dropbox. You’ll never have to carry a USB-stick again, as Google offers you 15 Gigabytes of space to use in both your Drive and your Gmail account. After three years of studying personally I have only used 601 Megabytes, which means I have never had to worry about space.
But there is more! You can integrate a lot of services directly into Drive. This means you can use the standard programs, such as Docs, Sheets and Slides, to create documents, excel-sheets and presentations directly in Drive. In addition, you can integrate great third-party apps like and, which let you makes sketches and create professional charts. To do so, just click the ‘NEW’ button, where you would normally click for a new Docs or Slides document. Navigate to ‘More’ and next to ‘Connect more apps’, which will in turn direct you to the easy marketplace you might know from the early Google Play-store days on your phone.
An even better feature of Google Drive is that in most applications you can work together with your fellow students in the same document. Just invite them to your shared folder or document, and they can hop in and out whenever they want! This is, in my opinion, one of the best tools to write a paper. If you haven’t experienced frantically typing in a document with three others only hours before the deadline, you haven’t really experienced studying.

“Standing on the shoulders of giants”

Google Scholar is a free, web-based index of scholarly literature that allows you to quickly and easily search resources for your essays. However, did you know there is an easy plug-in for your browser? With this plug-in you can search for papers without having to leave your Google Docs document. Even easier, you can select the name of the author in your document and the plug-in will automatically present the three closest papers.

Hours and hours of free lectures

YouTube is a widely used service on which millions of people upload their videos about their cats, parties and football matches. About 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute! Most of these videos might turn out to be useful for procrastination purposes only. However, not all videos on Youtube prevent a successful study session. There are a lot of videos around that are worth watching and can teach you something new. Many professors and other professionals upload their lectures and speeches to YouTube. Have a look at these:

  • Can’t make sense of the Viable Systems Model by Stafford Beer? Here’s your explanation.
  • What’s a Chi-Square test again? Let Paul Andersen refresh your memory.
  • Need an introduction in radiation and radioactive decay? Here’s your fix.

Do you know any other informative and enlightening videos, let me know in the comments.

There’s plenty more

Google offers countless more useful services, like Google Flights, Google Maps and Google Books. Which is your favourite service? Share it with us in the comments!


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WTF thomas

WTF thomas

Information Science and Intelligence Studies, Football Fanatic, Tech-junk, Zoetermeer, Daily commuter.
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