While in Seattle for the Champions Summit in April I was introduced to Bing the the Classroom. I was quick to let the other teachers at my school know about this awesome resource!

Here are some facts on what Bing in the Classroom is all about…

Part of Microsoft’s continued focus on promoting digital literacy in education, Bing in the Classroom is an ongoing program focused on helping kids use technology to inspire and satisfy their curiosity. It
provides ad-free, safer, more private search in schools, daily lesson plans that inspire critical thinking, and a rewards program that community members can use to earn tablets for their schools. More information can be found at http://www.bing.com/classroom, and you can track the progress of specific schools at http://www.bing.com/findyourschool.
  • Ad-free, safer, more private search. Bing in the Classroom removes all advertisements from Bing search results, filters adult content, disables the use of searches to send personalized ads, and adds specialized learning features to enhance digital literacy. {Program excludes Bing apps.} Over 4.5 million students in more than 5,000 schools are covered by our enhanced search, with over 35 million ad-free queries served to date.
  • Daily lesson plans. Bing is well known for having a big, beautiful homepage image that changes daily and inspires visitors to explore their world. With Bing in the Classroom, we’ve used that homepage inspiration to create free daily lesson plans that help students learn how to search the Web effectively while inspiring their curiosity.
  • Earn Surfaces with Bing Rewards. The Bing in the Classroom tablet program is an extension of an existing Bing program, Bing Rewards. With Bing Rewards, you can earn credits just by searching the Web on Bing from your browser or phone and for trying out new Bing features. And now, with Bing in the Classroom, you can donate those credits to the school of your choice; Microsoft will pool them with other supporters of that school and, as soon as your school meets the credit minimum, send it a Microsoft Surface tablet with Type Cover. About 60 people using Bing Rewards can earn a tablet for a school in a month.
  • Keep track of your school. Bing in the Classroom offers a page for every school in the U.S. that tells you not only if it is receiving ad-free, safer search but also how many Rewards credits have been donated, by how many people, and how many Surface tablets schools have earned.

I used some of the daily lesson plans with my students last year and they really enjoyed the activities. I love that the lessons require students to use critical thinking to search for their answers.

The Microsoft Educator Network is another resource that I love as a teacher. All of the tools listed on this website are free for teachers to use. Resources include apps, tutorials & guides, Office plug-ins, and more. My favorite guide is OneNote Toolkit for Teachers. OneNote is now free on all devices and can be synced across your devices when you sign in with your Microsoft account. I use OneNote for planning – both at home and at school. I plan out meals/recipes, vacations, to-do lists, etc. at home and plan lessons, projects, collaborate with other teachers, etc. at school. I absolutely love it.

Disclosure: I am a Windows Champions blogger and I received loan of a laptop and tablet, and may receive other equipment from Microsoft to assist me in evaluating Microsoft products and services for my blogging activity.