Guest post by Helen Gooch, Microsoft Fellow. Connect with Helen Gooch on the Microsoft Educator community.
Students today have information at their fingertips, information they can access anytime and anywhere. But is it quality information? Is it accurate? And even more critical, is it safe?
Teaching our students to search safely has never been more important, but it isn't easy. It is a skill that must be taught, retaught, refined and reviewed often. Our children must become proficient at searching safely so we can trust that the information they're searching for, reading, considering, and using is the best information available at that moment.
This job does not just belong to the classroom educator or media specialist. This task belongs to all who educate – including parents.
Help isn't far away
How do we impart this critical knowledge to our children? Many webpages and books provide ideas for searching smart, with tips like "use the search box," "use search suggestions," "use more than one search provider," or "use more than one keyword or phrase." And the list goes on.
But it can be tough to sort out all the advice. To that end, Bing has created these search videos and blog posts to assist you.
Teach K-12 students how to search with these helpful Bing in the Classroom videos:
Safe techniques for classroom research
Every school in the U.S. can register – at no cost — to become a Bing in the Classroom School. Just have a school or district administrator sign up at Bing in the Classroom. Is your school already a member?
Here's what being a Bing in the Classroom school means for your students:
Advertising-free and safe searching . With Bing in the Classroom, there are no pop-up ads when students use Bing.com as the search engine. And thanks to filters, you have the assurance students are searching safely.
Points and rewards. As your school – and your designated stakeholders — use Bing as their search engine, you'll accrue points that can be used toward free Surface devices.
Bing Lesson Plans . Developed by educators and archived for easy access, these useful lesson plans promote digital literacy and are aligned to Common Core standards.
Education Carousel . Located at the bottom of the Bing Homepage, this always-available tool provides relevant educational searches daily, from "Word of the Day" to current events to fun math problems to solve.
And of course, Bing Search Tools that both students and teachers can utilize for studying and research in and out of the classroom for math, science, reading, and writing,
All of these tools are available on demand to our students. And here is the really amazing part: with safe, accessible and smart search, we can pose, analyze, synthesize, evaluate, compare and contrast questions. Students have all the recall facts and figures at their disposal.
Consider how much richer our lessons can be when these tools are employed, and how much more thinking, reading, and learning our children will be inspired to do with Bing in the Classroom tools at their disposal. Just think about it!