Microsoft is not only ahead to bring new apps, but it is also thinks about people’s goodwill. Microsoft is often seen enthusiastically participating in social causes and initiating some social centric programs. This time, Microsoft has announced ‘The Bing for Schools Program”.
The Bing for Schools Program
A completely voluntary program, The Bing for School Program is a tailored Bing experience for K-12 students. The program is designed to teach digital literacy skills to schools in the US. The program is set to start in later of this year. However, the link is in place already where the content will be filled up very soon. The typical features of the Bing for School program include the elimination of all advertisements from the search results, enhancement of privacy protections, filtration of adult content, and the addition of specialized learning features to enhance digital literacy.
Microsoft mentions that the program is completely voluntary. Schools can choose whether they would like to go with the program or not. This means, those participating in the program will have ‘Bing for School’ experience while those not participating can keep the normal Bing experience. For those who opt for the ‘Bing for School’ initiative, 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. Besides, the program Bing For Schools itself is free for any school or districts wishing to participate.
Features of The Bing for Schools program:
- Increasing children’s focus on learning: This is one of the main features of Bing for School. Since Bing wants to create a learning environment for kids, they have eliminated advertisements from the pages. Bing For Schools strongly believes that the schools are for learning and not selling and hence, the ads are kept out.
- Offering protection to the 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.
- Education is a prime thing: Bing is famous for beautiful home pages that feature mesmerising images of various places across the world. Now with Bing for School kids will get a short lesson that teach digital literacy skills that are related to search and tied to the Common Core. For example, the picture of the sloth below might be coupled with the question “How many sloths could live in one square mile of jungle?”. This way, children’s thinking and searching capacity is increased.
Matt Wallaert, Bing Behavioral Scientist mentions that,
“We see the program as something we can build alongside teachers, parents, and visionaries to create the best possible search experience for our children, and will continue to update you with new information as we work towards our launch later this year.”
The Bing for School program is certainly a good initiative for school kids. It will be very interesting to see the response bing.com/schools gets.