As the only major search engine to offer a tailored experience for school networks, we’re always thinking about how to customize our experience for the classroom. Today, we are releasing a new feature designed to help students better access educational resources, navigate the web, and develop critical digital skills – even easier than before.
The more than 9,000 schools enrolled in ad-free, safer, more private search through Bing in the Classroom will now see a new strip of educational content along the bottom of the homepage when they visit Bing.com. Because search is an avenue to discovery, and we want to make it easier, safer, and more fun for kids to explore.
This curated ‘news feed’ will feature content ranging from educational topics to search tips to productivity resources and is designed to spark students’ curiosity. Students will see a regular word of the day, top education apps, and digital literacy tips. They’ll also be prompted to learn how to code, how to insult a Klingon, and how to say hello in Turkish. They can take a tour of the Coliseum with Photosynth, identify the world’s deepest lake with Bing’s magic answers, and convert their weight into units of stone with Bing Conversions. Stories, teasers, and tips are hand-picked by our editorial team at Bing, specifically for students.
On the regular, non-schools version of Bing.com, we feature a similar bar that includes the world’s top searches—but these aren’t necessarily educational in nature, and can be distracting in the classroom. That’s why we took it out, and replaced it with rich, relevant content especially for students.
This development is just one small facet of the digital literacy promise we make with Bing in the Classroom. We also offer a way to earn free Surface tablets for schools using Bing Rewards and over 18K people have already donated more than 4 million credits towards free Surfaces for schools across the country.
And people all over the world are using our daily, age-specific lesson plans, written by teachers across the US, to empower kids with critical thinking and search skills. The new educational story bar builds on this digital literacy and enhances our free, custom offering for schools that are enrolled in ad-free, safer, more private search. You can check if it is available in your school, as well as how many credits they’ve earned toward their next Surface, using our Find Your School tool. And eligible school districts and private schools can register to get the free offering at www.bing.com/classroom/registration.
Bing in the Classroom is excited to be supporting digital literacy in schools. Stay tuned to see how else we’re helping teachers and students this fall – in search, in discovery, and even in person!
– The Bing in the Classroom Team