digital learning
3:42 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Microsoft Launches Ad-Free Bing Search Engine for Schools

Microsoft wants students to be able to search the Internet without getting bombarded by ads.

The software company has launched "Bing for Schools," a pilot program available to educational institutions who want ad-free searches and no adult content. School districts in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Fresno, California have already signed on.

Microsoft says the program creates a safe environment and promotes digital literacy.

"Kids are staring at a very early age with computers, but they don't really know how to use them," said senior product manager Karin Muskopf.

The program also includes a reward program for anyone who uses Bing. The more searches you conduct, the more points you earn. And those points can be redeemed for Surface tablets to be donated to the school of your choice.

Microsoft  points to a 2012 Pew Research poll showed nearly 50 percent of teachers strongly agreed that digital literacy should be part of a school’s curriculum.

But that same poll also showed teachers thought digital technologies do more to do distract students than to help them academically.