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The Answer to Your District’s Web Woes?

Jenna_BlogMicrosoft Launches Bing in the Classroom

It’s happened in every classroom. A second-grader’s web-search leads to an uncomfortable conversation. A middle-schooler’s paper cites a less than reliable website. Or a senior searching for her dream college ends up lost in a sea of for-profit advertisements. 

Incidents like these can make educators wary of technology. But, study after study shows digital literacy is essential to students’ success. In fact, according to a recent poll from the Leading Education by Advancing Digital (LEAD) Commission, 83% of American voters support putting high-speed Internet access in all public schools within the next five years. Enter Bing in the Classroom—a free program that provides an ad-free and kid-friendly search experience for schools.

Available to all eligible K-12 schools in America as of April 23rd, the program prevents searches from being used for ad targeting, blocks adult content, and allows school districts to set customizable filters—all in the name of digital literacy education. And to further that cause, Bing in the Classroom will provide daily, Core-aligned lesson plans based on the subject of the Bing homepage for the day. Created by teachers, these daily lesson plans call on students to answer critical thinking questions using web search skills.

On Wednesday, Bing officials and NBC correspondent Jenna Bush Hager visited PS. 205 Clarion, a pilot school in Brooklyn, New York, to celebrate the official launch of Bing in the Classroom. To mark the occasion, Hager, a former third-grade teacher, led an elementary class in the lesson of the day and sat down with Administr@tor to discuss the importance of digital literacy. Hager’s advise to tech-shy teachers: “Get kids to help. That’s what I did. I had a student come up who knew how to use a SMART Board and I watched him use it for two seconds and I got it.”

“As a teacher, I know how distracting searching could be with my students,” adds Hager. “But knowing how much teachers care about their students, it’s best if we use technology in the classroom because it’s something they’re going to need for the rest of their lives. Knowing it’s good for the kids makes it easy to do it.”

“That’s why this program is so great. It’s giving kids access to what they need right now.”

Register your district for Bing in the Classroom by visiting www.bing.com/classroom/registration

-Catherine Logue

Photo Credit: Getty

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