Introducing Search Coach in Microsoft Teams for Education

    Introducing Search Coach in Microsoft Teams for Education

    Introducing Search Coach in Microsoft Teams for Education

    Posted: 09 Feb 2023

    When students today search the web, they are faced with a rapidly growing global repository that includes false and misleading information. Even students who’ve grown up with technology are often overwhelmed by the multitude of sources online, and it’s becoming more difficult to determine which information is trustworthy. One OECD study showed that only 10% of K-12 students can reliably distinguish fact from opinion, and in a 2021 U.S. study, nearly 96% of 3,500 students surveyed failed to identify a website’s connection to a biased party.

    Information literacy is becoming an increasingly essential skillset for people living in the digital age, and governments and organizations around the world are taking notice. In early January 2023, New Jersey signed legislation “establishing the requirement of K-12 instruction on information literacy” as part of their state-wide Student Learning Standards. Finland had a head start – their nation-wide media literacy education program was rolled out back in 2016.

    Microsoft has taken its own steps to support information literacy initiatives both locally and internationally. We’re excited to announce Search Coach and its Assignments counterpart, Search Progress, as a further contribution to these efforts.

    Introducing Search Coach

    Search Coach is a simple and powerful tab app in Microsoft Teams for Education that helps educators and students develop information literacy skills by forming effective queries and identifying reliable resources. Think of it as a search engine with training wheels: Search Coach empowers students to practice important concepts in a secure, advertisement-free, and educational environment.

    While most search education focuses on analyzing results for reliability, the unique superpower of Search Coach is demonstrating how to form more effective search queries. This way, students learn patterns that can help them avoid encountering unreliable information in the first place. Techniques that students learn can be later applied with traditional search engines!

    Installing Search Coach

    Any class team owner in Microsoft Teams for Education can install Search Coach today!

    1. From the general channel of any class, select +.
    2. Search for and select Search Coach.
    3. Select Add then select Save.
    4. Search Coach will appear as a tab app in your class. Repeat these steps for any additional classes you want students to have Search Coach in.

    Select "+" to open the Teams App Catalog

    Search Coach in the Teams App Catalog

    Search Coach was designed with support from educators and leading information literacy experts, and is now expanding availability to all educators as a free Teams tab app from the Teams App catalog.

    We’re also happy to announce a new, free Search Coach course in Microsoft Learn that will help educators confidently run Search Coach activities in no time. To get started using Search Coach in your class or district, follow these simple instructions. Or, if you’d like to join our Preview Community in the Microsoft Education Tenant and try Search Coach there, you can fill out this short form.

    Take a more detailed look at the Search Coach features below!

    Search Coach Overview

    Search Coach can be installed as a tab app in any Class Team channel, and when in use, it is full screen. With Class Settings at the upper right, the educator can change the background, control student access to features, create their own curated filters, or activate fact-check resources for students. A coaching “tip of the day” is shown below the search box, and these rotate on a regular basis.

    Read more:
    Brink's Avatar Posted By: Brink
    09 Feb 2023


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