Atlanta Public Schools (APS) is one of the first districts in the country to participate in Microsoft’s Bing for Schools pilot program. Today, Bing.com launched the free, national pilot program to offer schools across America the choice to provide ad-free web searches in their schools.
The Bing for Schools pilot program offers K-12 public and private schools in the U.S. the choice to avoid the commercialization of student web searches performed on school networks by removing all advertisements from search results. Bing is the first and only major search engine to give schools such a choice.
Bing for Schools also enhances privacy protections and sets strict filters to help block adult content, and adds specialized learning features to promote digital literacy. School districts can request to be part of the initial Bing for Schools pilot program at Bing.com/schools. Search is an important tool for students; a November 2012 Pew Poll study found that 94% of teachers believe their students are very likely to use a search engine in a typical assignment.
“Bing for Schools offers teachers the freedom to empower students through a 21st century learning environment,” said Aleigha Henderson-Rosser, APS director of instructional technology. “This educational search engine adds an extra layer of security and provides safe search options for our students in an ad-free learning space.”
“With Bing for Schools, we’re proud to offer schools a choice to create an ad-free search zone,” said Mike Nichols, chief marketing officer for Bing at Microsoft. “We know that search is an important part of education today, and we believe that schools should have the choice to make those web searches safer, more private and ad-free.”
Bing for Schools includes the following elements:
- Safer, ad-free search: Upon having their school activated with the new Bing for Schools program, Bing searches from within the school network will have three key enhancements:
-Removal of all advertisements from Bing search results.
-Automatic strict filtering to help block adult content.
-Augmented privacy protections
- Bing Rewards earn credits for tablets for schools: You can help the school of your choice earn credits toward Rewards just by searching the web from home or your mobile device. Bing Rewards allows you to choose a school to support, and will aggregate the credits for everyone supporting that school. When 30,000 credits are accrued through Bing Rewards, Bing will send a Microsoft Surface RT tablet with Touch Cover directly to the school. The more people search, the more they earn credits for their school. About 60 regular Bing Rewards users can earn a Surface RT each month for a school.
- Daily lesson plans based on the Bing daily homepage image: Bing is well known for having a big, beautiful homepage image that changes daily and inspires visitors to explore their world. Bing for Schools makes it easier to incorporate digital literacy into the classroom by offering three learning activities every school day, targeted at K-4th, 5th-8th, and 9th-12th grades. The activities are free, aligned with common core standards, and use the Bing homepage image of the day to pose a critical thinking question that can be solved using search tools. In addition to being linked from the homepage image, Bing will keep a growing archive of the lessons on the Microsoft Partners in Learning site.