Students across the country will soon be using a cleaned up version of Microsoft's search engine ecosystem Bing, devoid (or so they hope) of content they're not especially fond of sending out to under-age citizens of the USA. Microsoft spoke up this week at the International Society for Technology for Education meeting in San Antonio, Texas, and dubbed the program "Bing for Schools."
This program will work with Microsoft's own set of "lesson plans" for schools to entice the public to make this home page the center point of any PC inside a PG school environment. This program will roll out later this year and will have advertisements of all kinds stripped from search results as well. The program will be aimed at K-12 grades of students throughout the United States - and at the moment, no plans for outside the states has been announced.
"Introducing Bing For Schools
We're announcing a new initiative to help our nation’s schools teach digital literacy skills. Starting later this year, Bing For Schools will offer schools in the U.S. the option to tailor the Bing experience for K-12 students by removing all advertisements from search results, enhancing privacy protections and the filtering of adult content, and adding specialized learning features to promote digital literacy." - Bing
This move comes amid confirmation that Microsoft's rumored handing out of 10,000 Surface RT tablets to schools across the country is, indeed, a real situation. Microsoft will be working with schools that may need these machines through an official Windows in the Classroom project page, and the setup itself is called "Windows in the Classroom Surface Experience Project". This project is open to attendees of the ISTE 2013 conference where it was confirmed.
Attendees and their schools will be able to apply for units and Microsoft will, in the coming weeks, make clear those institutions whose stories and applications summoned need the most.
This announcement comes amid lowered prices on the Surface RT for education use. The standard $499 for a 32 GB Surface RT tablet has been knocked down to a cool $199 for those that qualify. Sound like a decent price to you?