Coming Later This Year: Bing Launching “Bing For Schools”, New Version of Search Site Tailored to Students, Educators
From a Bing Blog Announcement:
Starting later this year, Bing For Schools will offer schools in the U.S. the option to tailor the Bing experience for K-12 students by removing all advertisements from search results, enhancing privacy protections and the filtering of adult content, and adding specialized learning features to enhance digital literacy.
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.
Direct to Bing For Schools Info Page, Updates
It’s clear that Microsoft wants school administrators to keep its software and services on their minds. Though the new service isn’t available just yet, the announcement coincides with a major discount for schools on the Surface RT. Through the end of August, Microsoft is going to be offering the tablet for $199 and Type Covers for $50 — a combo that usually retails for $599
Filed under: School Libraries
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.