As a parent who was born in the 1970s, I often find myself marveling at the technological advances that didn't exist when I was a kid, but that my kids will no doubt take for granted.
It boggles my mind to think that my sons will have no concept of what life was like before the internet. I've already had to explain how, back in MY day, if you wanted to learn about something, you went to the library and slogged through the card catalogue for some promising sounding book titles. If you were lucky, you might find one that had the information you were looking for, but chances are you'd have to then skim through the chapter titles to find the specific topic you wanted to learn more about; you may not be interested enough to read an entire book on ancient Egypt just because you were curious about how mummies were made.
Back in the day, there simply was no option to plug some keywords related to your topic into a search engine and find exactly what you're looking for... but there is now. Just as until recently, there was no option for K-12 students here in the US to safely and privately browse ad-free search engine results designed specifically for the classroom when searching through their school's network connection... but there is now.
In a recently published blog post, the Bing team announced that the Bing in the Classroom program is now out of pilot and widely available to qualified school districts and private schools:
As of today, any qualified school district or private school can go to bing.com/classroom and register for the completely free service, which is already being used by over 4.5 million students, including those in the five largest districts in the US. That means no waitlist, no installation or new settings, just one online form and all Bing.com searches on a school network can be ad-free within a few days of registration.*
You'll find more details on the Bing in the Classroom program by watch the video above or by reviewing the post on the Bing blog, but before you go, there is one other aspect of this program that I want to call out because I think it's pretty spectacular.
Like most Microsoft employees, I'm an avid Bing user. Given that it's my default engine, I've been accumulating Bing Rewards for years. As part of the Bing for Classrooms program, I'm able to search for my son's school (redacted from the below image) and then donate my Bing Rewards points that will help his school get closer to a free Surface tablet, which I just did:
Pretty cool, don't you think?
Be sure to check out the full post over on the Bing Blog for all of the details on Bing in the Classroom, and if you think it's as cool as I do, please consider sharing it with your social networks.
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