Bing for Schools is an education-focused initiative which aims to improve digital literacy skills in students through the power of search. One of the highlights is the strict attention to SafeSearch filtering and blocking of adult content. A recent Pew Pollrevealed that 94% of teachers think their students are most likely use a search engine during a typical assignment. Thus, it’s important that schools ensure students do it in a child-safe environment that doesn’t barrage them with ads. Bing has invited schools across the United States to take part in the program, which will expand gradually.
According to Bing, schools joining up will be able to take advantage of the following benefits:
- Removal of all advertisements from search results.
- Automatic strict filtering to help block adult content.
- Augmented privacy protections.
As the back to school season starts, 800,000 students will be able to reap the benefits of Bing in schools. Launch partners include Los Angeles Unified School District, Atlanta Public Schools, Fresno Unified School District, and Detroit Country Day School. The Bing for Schools homepage is also an advisory for administrators, teachers, parents, and students on how to use the program. Lesson plans have been developed for the K-4th, 5th-8th, and 9th-12th grades. How to search for information with Bing is one of the components. For instance, the Bing homepage image of the day will pose a critical thinking question that can be solved using search tools. You can see some of the lessons on Microsoft’s Partners in Learning website. Lessons commence from September 3rd.
Bing for Schools is U.S. centric, but it is a lesson to students (and teachers) worldwide on the importance of search skills for the ultimate objective of holistic education.