Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, today launched the Bing for Schools initiative, which is closely connected with its Surface RT tablet strategy. On a related note, yesterday a CNET story reported that Google will soon announce “supervised accounts” for kids when using its Chrome browser, offering some parental controls at the web browser level.
Microsoft obviously has a horse in the race when it comes to young computer users – it wants to increase adoption of its search engine Bing and sales of its Surface RT tablets. Parents and schools are eager to adopt technology solutions that are “safer” for kids, and a high profile technology partner with a tailored solution could be a match made in heaven.
What is Microsoft offering as part of its Bing for Schools program? For participating schools, Microsoft has rolled out:
- Daily lesson plans, sorted by age level, designed to teach internet search skills
- A Bing Rewards program, which gives schools using the Bing/Surface RT combination the opportunity to win free tablets and accessories
- Ad-free Bing search for students and teachers
- Strict filtering of adult content
- Increased privacy protection for students
Schools who are inclined to use or are already using Surface tablets should definitely apply to get into the pilot program, which will reportedly be available to 800,000 students initially according to TechCrunch. Schools not in the pilot program should still look into the Bing-based educational resources that are available to all schools and students.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring teen internet activity.