Creating a Safer Internet for Kids

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Creating a Safer Internet for Kids from

The mission of The Library Adventure is to bring tools and resources to readers, parents, and library workers. We strive to encourage reading for learning and for fun. We recognize that avid readers are usually created when influential adults take the time to encourage children in their reading skills and habits. Parents are hands-down the most influential people in a child’s life, but today I want to talk to another set of adults.

Teachers, school administrators, and school librarians.

Ok, so maybe there is a bit of an overlap. Maybe you are a parent and a teacher. Or maybe you are simply a parent who is very involved in your child’s classroom/school, to which I say, “Hooray!!” You could also be interested in this information to pass along to your local schools.

We live in a digital world. Kids have access to the internet and computers at unprecedented levels. As a parent, I know the dangers that can lurk on the other side of the computer screen. I’ve seen too many news stories to be unaware. My kids are blissfully ignorant of the evil that brings some people to the internet. I’d like to keep them that way for as long as I can because I value my children’s innocence. I know many other parents who value this as well.

Beyond the physical dangers, there is also the invasive marketing world that tracks your every search engine move. The purpose of this is to provide you with online ads that are relevant to your needs and wants, as evidenced by your search habits. It is designed to provide solutions to the problems you are searching for by connecting you with businesses, blogs, ministries, corporations, etc. that can help. It’s not an inherently bad thing.

It simply doesn’t provide any protection for our children and can turn them into targets. Have you ever gotten online after one of your kids and suddenly you are seeing ads for sites they last visited? The search engine doesn’t know how old the person searching is. It simply knows what they are searching for and how to match it with ads.

I was contacted recently by Bing to talk about their Bing in the Classroom initiative. After reading about it, I decided this was a resource some of our beloved readers would find useful as they nurture young readers. This post is sponsored by Bing, but all opinions are my own. You’re just lucky enough that I’m a very sharing person. 😉

What is Bing in the Classroom?

In schools, when students use search engines other than Bing, they are shown ads that can distract from their studies. With Bing in the Classroom, all advertising is removed, there are strict filters for adult content, and enhanced privacy protection.

Along with providing educational enhancements, Bing in the Classroom removes ads and blocks searches from being used for personalized advertising for all Bing searches done through the school’s network, making Bing the only major search engine to provide a search offering tailored specifically for the classroom.

What this means is, if your child searches for something online for a school project, they are less likely to be shown results that have inappropriate content. They will also not accidentally click on an ad and head to a spam site instead of an educational article. Or get distracted by shopping for Lego sets while they are supposed to be researching how to build a car out of Lego bricks.

Please note: As a part of the program, all searches performed with Bing in the Classroom will be ad free, however, websites discovered and visited via search will still provide ads. Students will not be served ads in the Bing experience.

To learn more about how you can help bring this to your school by visiting the Bing in the Classroom Show Support page.

Support Your School With Bing Rewards

Another way you can support your school and the Bing in the Classroom goal of ad-free searching for kids, is to join their rewards program. More info from Bing:

We’ve made it even easier for people to support the schools they care about. Our popular Bing Rewards program enables people to earn credits towards Surface tablets for a school of their choice simply by signing up and searching with Bing. Now we are making it easier to see how many Rewards credits an individual school has earned. You can search for any school by ZIP code and see how many other people are contributing, how many Surface tablets the school has earned so far, and how many credits are needed to earn the next Surface. And we’ll also tell you if the school is registered for the search enhancements, so you can know if your kids are receiving ad-free, safer, more private search in the classroom when they choose Bing.

Anyone can earn credits just by searching the web with Bing—similar to a frequent flyer program. Credits can be donated to help get free Microsoft Surface tablets for schools. It’s easy! All you have to do is stay signed in as you search with Bing.

To sign up and start supporting your school, just follow these easy steps:

  1. Visit the Bing in the Classroom’s page and click on the “Find Your School” map in the lower right corner.
  2. Enter your school’s zip code and select the name of your school via the dropdown menu and select “Find”.
  3. Select the “Support Your School” section and click on the “Try it now, FREE!” section. You’ll be prompted to create a Microsoft account, or sign in with your Facebook account. All you have to do is stay signed in as you search with Bing to earn credits.

Thank you, Bing in the Classroom, for allowing us to partner with you to help make an ad-free search experience possible for young readers in a classroom setting!

About Vicki Arnold

Vicki Arnold is a happily married, homeschooling mama of four great kids. She's a big fan of books, reading, and libraries. It was this life-long passion that led to the creation of The Library Adventure. She also blogs at Simply Vicki about books, homeschooling, gardening, and hopes to encourage other Christian women in their walk with Christ. You can learn more about Vicki on her about page.

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