Guest Blog: Helen Gooch – Microsoft Fellow and Master Trainer: Conversation with Microsoft Behavioral Scientist, Matt Wallaert

Educators want to know who has their back.  Who is in their corner?  Who understands what it is they do for a living and can make their life easier while making their lessons more rigorous and
rel evant.  This educator had a conversation with Microsoft Behavioral Scientist, Matt Wallaert at FETC last month while he was working in the Microsoft booth, and educators, Matt has our back!

A blog post about Bing for Schools was published a couple of months ago, and since that time this educator has learned so much more that Bing for Schools and Bing Lesson Plans warrants another mention.  It is important to know what drives a team to develop a product like Bing, so a conversation with Matt was in order as he was standing in his Justin cowboy boots with a relaxed stance and talking to every educator who strolled by the booth about this new offering.  And, if they were hesitant about stopping, he welcomed them right in and explained why Bing for Schools is so important to schools, teachers, and students.  Matt is a one-man team on a mission to deliver Bing for Schools to every school possible.  He has many great product teams at Microsoft to assist him, but he is passionate about his mission and it comes through during any conversation. 

Question One:  Matt, what’s the biggest challenge you have to overcome? 

Misinformation.  It’s a Google world.  The ability to safely search the internet with strict filtering, advertisement free, and without your student profile search being tracked is huge.  Bing for Schools offers just that and more.  There are also three lesson plans a day tailored for grades K-4, 5-8, and 9-12 aligned to Common Core State Standards while using free Microsoft tools and applications. 

Have you seen the gorgeous pictures that are on the Bing homepage daily?  These pictures draw you in and encourage you to find out more.

Question Two:  Matt, my school has signed up for Bing for Schools, now what? 

Get your parents active, parents who use Bing as their search engine and who have designated your school to benefit start racking up points.  Parents donate their Bing Rewards points to help the school of their choice get free Surface RT tablets.  To redeem, join Bing Rewards at (if you haven’t already) As few as 60 parents running routine searches using can provide a free Surface RT to your school each month.  Sixty parents, doing average searching, using Bing can provide a free Surface RT, sorry but that needed repeating! 

Get your teachers accessing and using those lesson plans which are aligned to Common Core State Standards.  This educator suggests harvesting them in a folder as every lesson is downloadable as a Word Document.  Another idea would be to “Print to OneNote” each lesson document (Open the lesson plan as a Word document > File > Print > Print to OneNote) and build a whole resource notebook using Bing Lesson Plans and OneNote.  These lessons are archived so not to worry if you miss one or forget to download one of your favorites.  Teachers, take ten minutes every day to practice search skills with your students by incorporating a Bing lesson whenever possible.

Have a look at a previous sample lesson:

Teachers can
access the lessons plans by clicking on the Info icon in the bottom right corner of the homepage or go directly to the lesson plans by bookmarking http://www.pil-network/search/bing.

When you click on the Info icon you are taken to a beautifully curated search page on the main topic of the daily picture.  NOW the lesson plans are found when you select Get it now.



Ideas to consider:

1. Always preview your lesson before trying to implement

2. These fit beautifully with the rubrics from 21CLD – you might consider taking a few and using them in your PLC as discussion points for how they might be tweaked

3. Differentiation of lesson plans still rest with the teacher – what do you need to do so that a lesson meets every learner?

**Notice you did not have to be signed into PiL Network to access these lessons…BUT if you or your teachers need help with a tools being used in the lesson – make sure you JOIN as guide and tutorials are available.

Better yet – have your teachers JOIN anyway to get all benefits

Question Three:  How will schools know what to tell parents, Matt? 

There is a Welcome Letter, or marketing pack for schools, when the school completes the form on the Bing for Schools website.

Question Four:  Matt, do you have a preview of coming attractions? 

There will be more in-depth lessons, and other enhancements will be featured around  special events and dates featured while still focusing on those amazing beautiful, stellar pictures.  Stay tuned and follow us:, @TeamBing, @Bing (Twitter)


Final thoughts –

PiL is always looking for good lesson plans.

And Lastly… Pictures are worth a THOUSAND words.  If you want to see past Bing homepages they can be found at


Comments (5)

  1. Anonymous says:

    227 Microsoft Team blogs searched, 65 blogs have new articles. 191 new articles found searching from

  2. When will this be available for Australian schools? My wife uses her RT in preference to a school supplied iPad and has convinced others, by example, of the RT’s superiority. How can teachers down-under take advantage of this offer, other than being greeted with a “Bing Rewards isn’t available yet in your country or region.” Please include the rest of the world, or at least Australia!

  3. Helen Gooch says:

    The lesson plans are available now….stay tuned!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Helen Gooch, a Microsoft Fellow and Master Trainer had a chance to interview Matt Wallaert, the visionary

  5. jennifer says:

    Thank you so much for all of the information shared!!!

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