For the past two decades, the use of technology in the classroom has been an increasingly tricky one. The Internet provides access to a seemingly endless wealth of information and resources for education; however, this wealth is accompanied by an almost equal expanse of dark alleys full of seedy and inappropriate content. We have also become painfully aware in recent years that the technology that we use every day can (and perhaps is) being used to pry into every detail of our personal lives. Balancing access to the benefits of the Internet and other technologies for students while protecting them and their privacy is a daily challenge and source of debate for educators and librarians. However, Microsoft’s Bing has recently created a program aimed at helping schools address these concerns.
The program, aptly named Bing in the Classroom, encourages student engagement in the classroom by eliminating the distraction of advertisements when students in the classroom use Bing to search the web. In addition to ad-free searching, the service filters out inappropriate adult content and protects students’ privacy by not using student searches to create personalized advertising profiles. The program also provides an avenue for schools to receive free Microsoft tablets. Users of Bing can sign up with the program and earn credits whenever they are using Bing. These credits can then be donated to a school of their choice. Schools receive a Microsoft tablet every time they accumulate a certain number of credits (the first one at 30,000).
Find more information about this free program at: http://www.bing.com/classroom/showsupport
Image from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BingHomepage2013.png