Microsoft launches ad-free 'Bing in the Classroom'

Microsoft launches ad-free 'Bing in the Classroom'

Summary: Microsoft is seeking to promote its search engine with an ad-free version of Bing which blocks adult content and includes additional privacy controls.

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TOPICS: Education, Microsoft
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Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 08.10.03
Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft has launched an ad-free, tailored version of the Bing search engine for use within the classroom.

The Redmond giant's latest scheme, dubbed "Bing in the Classroom," is a customized version of the Bing search engine for use by students. The search engine is advertisement-free and comes with enhanced privacy controls; allowing teachers to step up filters to block adult content and ad targeting. In addition, Microsoft says that educators can "can add various learning features to Bing that promote students' digital literacy."

Microsoft estimates that over 15 billion search advertisements are issued to students every year, touting everything from marketing messages and for-profit degree programs to junk food — potentially providing a distraction and taking away the value of using online resources for learning. 

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A pilot program finished on Wednesday, and after its success, Bing in the Classroom is now available to all eligible K-12 schools in the United States. The pilot took place in five of the largest US public school districts, and has since been used by 4.5 million children in over 5,000 schools.

Matt Wallaert, creator of Bing in the Classroom said:

We created Bing in the Classroom because we believe students deserve a search environment tailored for learning. Classrooms should be ad-free, and that should be as true online as it is offline.

In addition to providing students with a purely resource-based search engine, teachers are also able to view daily lesson plans from the Bing homepage.

The project not only gives Microsoft the chance to encourage the next generation of Web users to use Bing rather than Google or Yahoo as a familiar tool, but also can give teachers piece of mind that students are not viewing unsuitable content while they are in IT-based lessons.

Topics: Education, Microsoft

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3 comments
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  • This is not how you fight with google, to go against this monopoly you have

    to 1. make your search engine to be completely open source, 2. ensure that the privacy of users are preserved that not even NSA can have access to them. This can be done with giving users the complete control over their data in your database!
    These are the weaknesses of Google, show users good faith then see how they embrace you, but I don't see these things in MS! If I want to choose an alternative right now it is not bing but duckduckgo.com!
    T0rpid
    • Maybe this is just a good tool for educators?

      Despite all the corporate warfare, this search tool looks to serve educators first. Which is what should be important for a service like this.
      Emacho
  • Or just use AdBlock.

    If the school's IT departments are so concerned by advertising, why don't they deploy Firefox with ABP? Then, all websites the students go to will be ad-free, as well as reducing the amount of data transferred, which will speed up the Internet for the rest of the school.
    Ryan Nematz