Happy World Read Aloud Day! You may notice that today’s Bing homepage features the National Library of China, with hotspots related to literacy. This is no coincidence. The Bing team wants to inspire kids to use the power of technology to become better readers and writers. Already, it’s easy to find children’s best sellers using Bing, and when you search for books, we’ll show you their ratings and where you can find them–from your local library to Amazon to the Gutenberg project.
And we think we can do even better. That’s why we’re bringing together hundreds of free literacy lessons offered through Bing and Skype in the Classroom to support the innovative and engaging ways teachers around the world are using our services to inspire a love of reading and writing.
Educators can find a Bing in the Classroom lesson on Shakespeare, based on a stunning homepage image of Verona, where three of his plays were set. Like all Bing in the Classroom lessons, the content is Common-Core aligned and age-specific, complete with a teacher guide to make things even easier.
Educators can also connect their students with classrooms all over the world to discuss books and share short stories over Skype. Teachers can also invite authors, illustrators, and publishing industry professionals into the classroom through a new Author Guest Speaker app. Already, kids are hearing from authors firsthand and learning how literacy can come to life. See for yourself in our new video!
In today’s world, literacy extends beyond traditional reading and writing. Digital literacy plays a key role in our everyday life. Bing in the Classroom has always supported digital literacy with free devices, lesson plans, and daily resources on the homepage designed for students. During the month of March, the Bing in the Classroom homepage will drive to a Big Question of the Day to inspire kids to search and learn. Big Questions are designed to stir curiosity and motivate kids to self-organize to find answers using the web and available tools.
As kids learn to find information through the power of search, it’s our job to make sure they have a safe environment to practice those skills. We’re proud to say that almost 9 million students have access to our ad-free, safer, more private search experience through Bing in the Classroom today. And we’re excited to announce that we’re now even safer. We’ve improved our “Strict” SafeSearch filter to remove more sexually suggestive content from image search results. Defining ‘racy’ and ‘sexually suggestive’ content is tough as it’s often a fine line between adult and non-adult content, and we will continue making technical advancements in our quest to make Bing the safest place to search online.
Bring free, safer search to your school by asking your IT administrator to register your district or private school today at www.bing.com/classroom/registration. And you can always use it at home by switching your SafeSearch filter to”Strict.”
At Bing in the Classroom, we want to support students as they learn and develop traditional and digital literacy skills in a safer environment. Get your local school involved! Together , we can inspire the next generation of readers and writers.
– The Bing Team