Bing in the Classroom Offers #AdFreeSearch to Schools

By: Bryan Deziel

For the past two decades, the use of technology in the classroom has been an increasingly tricky one.  The Internet provides access to a seemingly endless wealth of information and resources for education; however, this wealth is accompanied by an almost equal expanse of dark alleys full of seedy and inappropriate content.  We have also become painfully aware in recent years that the technology that we use every day can (and perhaps is) being used to pry into every detail of our personal lives.  Balancing access to the benefits of the Internet and other technologies for students while protecting them and their privacy is a daily challenge and source of debate for educators and librarians.  However, Microsoft’s Bing has recently created a program aimed at helping schools address these concerns.

The program, aptly named Bing in the Classroom, encourages student engagement in the classroom by eliminating the distraction of advertisements when students in the classroom use Bing to search the web.  In addition to ad-free searching, the service filters out inappropriate adult content and protects students’ privacy by not using student searches to create personalized advertising profiles.  The program also provides an avenue for schools to receive free Microsoft tablets.  Users of Bing can sign up with the program and earn credits whenever they are using Bing.  These credits can then be donated to a school of their choice.  Schools receive a Microsoft tablet every time they accumulate a certain number of credits (the first one at 30,000).

Find more information about this free program at:

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“A Bunch of Stuff You Can Do With Google”

The Google Tips page is described by Google as:

A bunch of stuff you can do with Google.

How it works

Find a card you like and “flip” it over to learn more. You can share your favorites with friends and even suggest tips for us to add. We’ll keep adding new cards, so come back often to check out what’s new.

 Other Search Options

Learning more advanced Google features is helpful for finding information–and with other Google platforms–storing your own information.

Keep in mind, there are some other interesting search options out there:

DuckDuckGo – Focused on privacy along with a number of growing features to make searching more intuitive

MillionShort – Filters out up to the first million search engine results to get deeper into the results

Unbiasly – Uses crowdsourcing as a way to find less biased sources


Simulating the Sensory Experience of Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), also known as Autism, is a neurodevelopment disorder causing altered social interactions, “communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior.” According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 1 in every 68 children born in the United States are diagnosed with Autism, with symptoms arising during the ages of 2 and 3, affecting over 2 million individuals in the United States alone.

In a previously published article, Dr. Paul Wang speaks about his push for Autism recognition of the issues those with and the families of those with Autism encounter on a daily basis.  In the midst of bringing further attention to Autism, Dr. Wang developed 5 simulations to demonstrate the sensory overloads and challenges those with Autism experience with daily duties. Mashable  posted the YouTube videos where you can experience five Simulations of Sensory Overload

Simulators have a long-standing reputation of being an effective tool for teaching; but to learn the human experience through simulation could be an emerging technology for information science.  Libraries could one day they store and share experiences through simulations similarly to the way we share experiences through writing.

View resources about Autism at Rebecca Crown library



Oral History and Privacy

Between 2001-2006 Boston College embarked on an Oral History program to document Northern Irish immigrants’ history during the Troubling Times.  They called it the Belfast Project and interviewed close to 50 people who were part of the IRA (Irish Republican Army) or another paramilitary group called Ulster Volunteer Force.  There are many open crimes in Northern Ireland during the Troubling Times and the United Kingdom has a treaty with the United States where the U.S. is required to give any evidence it may have to open, violent crimes.

One of these open violent crimes was the abduction and murder of Jean McConville in 1972.  The IRA accepted responsibility for the murder, but no one was ever arrested.  After hearing that Boston College might have some information in their Belfast Project, the British Authorities urged the Justice Department to obtain this evidence.  Boston College refused, went to court, and lost just last week.  The university gave up seven interviews to the Justice Department, who passed it along to British authorities.  Last week, the authorities arrested a prominent Irish politician for Jean McConville’s murder.

Central to Boston College’s case is the understanding that these interviews were to remain as oral history.  It was a preservation interview, not an interrogation.  The project leaders have been accused of being biased against the politician’s political party, and hostile to the interviewees.  The project leaders have severed all relationships with the college, believing that Boston College should have fought harder for this information to stay private.  Wednesday, Boston College announced that it would return these interviews, if the subjects wanted them back.

How private is oral history?  There are no laws that hold an interview between an academic and an interviewee as private.  In this case, the people interviewed expected a level of privacy.  The project leaders certainly thought that the college would have done a better job to protect these interviews.  As Northern Ireland looks to close a turbulent chapter in their history, academics across the world will have to evaluate how explosive some of these interviews could potentially be.


Chicago Public Library to receive national medal from first lady

Congratulations to the Chicago Public Library.  The Chicago Tribune announced today that the Chicago Public Library will receive a major national medal from first lady.

The following is taken directly from the Chicago Tribune:

First lady Michelle Obama is scheduled to present the 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service to 10 institutions, including the Chicago Public Library, at a White House ceremony on Thursday.

In an announcement today, the White House described the award as “the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community.”

“These 10 honorees exemplify the nation’s great diversity of libraries and museums and include a natural history museum, a children’s museum, a natural sciences museum, an aquarium, a botanic garden, public library systems, and a book center, hailing from 10 states,” the White House said.

Past winners from Illinois have included the Waukegan Public Library, Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago, Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin, Pritzker Military Library in Chicago, Skokie Public Library, the Newberry Library in Chicago, Chicago Zoological Society in Brookfield, John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, the Field Museum in Chicago and the National Museum of Mexican Art (a Chicago museum known as the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum at the time of its 1995 honor).

Joining the Chicago Public Library on the 2014 list are:

  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, Las Vegas, Nev.
  • Mid-Continent Public Library, Independence, Mo.
  • Mystic Aquarium, Mystic, Conn.
  • North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, N.C.
  • Octavia Fellin Public Library, Gallup, N.M.
  • Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, Norman, Okla.
  • The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Yiddish Book Center, Amherst, Mass.

Read the story at: