Microsoft has announced a new initiative for schools, they are calling “Bing for schools”. The initiative is intended to provide schools a safe internet search environment by removing ad’s from search results, enhancing privacy protections, filtering adult content from search results, and adding specialized learning tools to help teach kids digital literacy skills.
According to Microsoft
The program is completely voluntary: schools have the choice of participating or keeping the normal Bing experience. For those that opt-in, Bing will enable the experience across all searches from within the school’s network on Bing.com, without any need for special software or a different search address. And of course, Bing For Schools is free for any school or districts wishing to participate.
While we aren’t ready to go into too much detail, as we’re still finalizing what will be available in the first iteration, here are a few things you can likely expect:
Keeping Our Kids Focused on Learning:As a country, we’ve set schools aside as a special place that is focused on learning, and have traditionally kept advertising out of that environment. Bing For Schools removes ads from the search experience, keeping with our strong belief that schools are for learning and not selling.
Protecting Our Kids:Bing already offers the ability to filter out adult content with SafeSearch, but with Bing For Schools, SafeSearch will automatically default to the strict setting and remove kids ability to change it.
Educating Our Kids: In addition to the beautiful Bing homepage images, which feature hotspots that encourage exploration of new and unexpected topics, Bing For Schools will offer short lesson plans that teach digital literacy skills that are related to search and tied to the Common Core. For example, this picture of a sloth might be coupled with the question “How many sloths could live in one square mile of jungle?” and a lesson helping students use search tools and critical thinking to find potential answers.
As of now Microsoft is still working out the specific details of what the offerings will be. The offering from Bing is for schools in the U.S. If you want to be alerted when new details about Bing for Schools you can visit Bing.com/schools (http://www NULL.bing NULL.com/schools) and enter your email address.
Source: Microsoft Bing Blog (http://www NULL.bing NULL.com/blogs/site_blogs/b/search/archive/2013/06/23/bing-for-schools NULL.aspx)