Bing it to me......

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Searching is often problematic and frustrating when you cannot find what you are looking for within a few minutes. This is true whether you are searching for your car keys or searching for that important file, data, picture, music, or website on your computer. This is where Bing can help. It was always a good search engine, and Bing always brought back great results. The Bing launch page itself is a stunning photograph that changes daily, with links to learn more about the subject of the photograph. Educators, be sure and check out this page daily, as it often aligns well to curriculum content and Common Core Standards being taught across the United States. But, this is just the start to what Bing can b(r)ing to you today.

So, just like in the commercials you see on the television, Bing went on a test drive through the lens of an educator today. Every teacher and every school should check out ad free Bing for Schools. Whenever educators or students search using Bing for Schools there are no ads to contend with being displayed, no worries about inappropriate ads popping up, nor is your search being monitored to see which ads to bring to your screen! Way to go Bing for Schools!

But that is just the beginning, Bing now integrates search across your entire workspace. This educator must confess to using the 8.1 preview and already enjoying the way a key word query searches the internet, computer, apps, and SkyDrive account just by using the Search Charm. Or, even easier just by starting to type the keyword while on the Start screen. Bing brings back a laundry list of every instance it finds the key word(s) being queried, and that saves time for any educator trying to remember where to find the picture of “the rock cycle” needed for tomorrow’s earth science lesson.

Bing has a translator app that makes working with English Language Learners (ELL) and parent teacher conferences with non-English speaking parents a positive experience. Try explaining to parents with little English speaking ability that their child needs to read fifteen minutes every day to increase fluency and vocabulary development. Or explaining the fire drill procedures on the first day in class to a student who speaks little to no English. Bing translator does a great job with 30+ languages and can even translate signs posted, typed, or spoken into the app.

Now, for the best kept secret! Bing provides add-ins available through the windows store that makes tasks easy while using the Office Suite. Did you know you can bring Bing maps into Excel to make graphs come alive with physical locations? Imagine a district having to change a bus route and working with parents on redistricting. How powerful to show them student population data overlaid on maps of bus routes to explain why a route must be changed. You can also do Image Searches in Word by adding the Bing Image Search to the Insert Tab in the Apps for Office Group. Finding a Bing Image you need while working in your Word document without having to toggle between windows….Bing it to me…. And, faculty, staff, and students be sure and check into Office 365 for Education since this Office suite is free to education. Let me say that again. The Office 365 for Education suite is free to k-12 faculty, staff, and students who check into Office 365 for Education!

There are more great features this educator found on this test drive. Every educator needs to spend five minutes exploring the new Bing. That five minutes will turn into ten minutes, twenty minutes or more. This educator challenges you to find at least three ways Bing can make a difference in your teaching and in the lives of your students. Are you up for the challenge? I would love to hear what you find that makes all the difference!

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