Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Be Safe Out There: Bing In The Classroom

This is Little Brown Bunny, my now-teen daughter's first toy and prized possession. (That she still has, by the way, somewhere in her room underneath all of the teen girl clutter.) Years ago she decided to search for 'Little Brown Bunny' on the internet. We're not sure why – was she looking for his family lineage? His LinkedIn profile? All we know is, what she found instead was a movie from 2003 called 'The Brown Bunny,' and let's just say it definitely was not about a cuddly stuffed animal. (Go ahead, I'll wait – I know you're pulling up the IMDB page for that movie now.)

Luckily we were there to intervene, but we can't always be there to lunge in front of the screen and cover their eyes. Now there's a new program called Bing in the Classroom that provides ad-free, safe, private search in schools. A customized version of the Bing search engine for use by students (in grades K–12) Bing in the Classroom is ad-free and comes with enhanced privacy controls that allows teachers to utilize filters to block adult content and ad targeting.

In addition to the search engine features, Bing in the Classroom also offers:

An opportunity to earn tablets for your child's school. By joining Bing Rewards parents, friends and your community can donate earned points towards Surface tablets for your school of choice.

Free lesson plans. From the Bing homepage, teachers and educators can access lesson plans that promote digital literacy.

I realize we can't have control 100% of the time over our kids' online activities. But it would be encouraging to know that, at least while they're in school, there are steps being taken to limit their exposure to inappropriate or potentially dangerous content. After all, you never know when they'll go searching for info on their beloved toy bunny only to discover he's involved in some shady dealings on the side.

Here's more on Bing in the Classroom:

This post was created in partnership with Bing.
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Disclosure: I am being compensated for this post but all opinions and references to the sullying of beloved childhood icons and inappropriate movies are my own.  
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