We know students are often more comfortable searching on the web vs. using the databases. And it is an option, but know that you are not getting as wide a range of articles when you do that. It has to do with paywalls - we pay for access to that databases and that is where the bulk of academic literature is housed - and that can't be accessed through search tools such as Google.
However, Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com) is a search tool you can use to find academic articles. Scholar indexes scholarly, peer-reviewed articles, but note that many are not available full-text. That's why we recommend beginning your search in the databases; you'll find many more full-text articles there and/or be able to quickly and easily submit an Interlibrary Loan Request. Adding the LibKey Nomad extension to your browser will help you find full-text articles SMSU has access to as well, but the number of results will still be greater in the library databases.
So knowing that the article might be full-text in the database or you could interlibrary loan a copy, you'd never purchase an article, right?
If you are searching out on the open web, Nomad is a fantastic tool for locating the full-text of items in our library. Nomad is an extension you can add to your browser. To add it to your browser, follow these links for the browser of your choice. After you "get" the extension, you'll need to select Southwest Southwest Minnesota State University from the drop down menu under Select Organization. After installation, this is what the icon looks like in the browser bar and/or on the web.
After you've installed it, you can see it in action by doing a Wikipedia search for Educational Technology. When you scroll down and look at the References (because we don't really cite from Wikipedia, but rather use it as a jumping off point for our research), you'll see several references that have a link with the green teardrop icon in them. Those links will lead you back to full-text sources available through the McFarland Library. You will also see this functionality at work in Google Scholar searches with a graphic like this showing up in the lower left hand corner when the article can be retrieved through SMSU.