I am proud to announce that today, Microsoft has just made the Internet safer for students. That's because Bing in the Classroom - a free program that provides ad-free, safer, more private search in schools - is now open to all eligible K-12 schools in the U.S. With every Bing.com search done through a participating school's network, Bing in the Classroom removes ads and, just as important, blocks searches from being used for personalized advertising. This makes Bing the only major search engine to provide an ad-free search offering tailored specifically for the classroom. This is a huge step forward in keeping technology safe for our most vulnerable users.
Bing in the Classroom was piloted as Bing for Schools earlier this year in five of the largest U.S. public school districts, and has grown to include hundreds of districts. As of today, any qualified school district or private school in the U.S. can go to Bing in the Classroom at bing.com/classroom and register for the completely free service. This means no waitlist, no installation or new settings, just one online form and all Bing.com searches on a school network can be ad-free within a few days of registration. The program is already being used by over 4.5 million students, and has served over 35 million ad-free queries so far this school year.
Along with providing educational enhancements, Bing in the Classroom has also updated the daily digital literacy lesson plans, which can be used by anyone, anywhere in the world at no cost. Daily digital literacy lesson plans are created by accredited teachers and are based on the Bing daily homepage image, which is well known for having a big, beautiful, inspirational photo each day. The lesson plans pose a question that cannot be solved by a simple search, encouraging kids to use critical thinking alongside search to grow their curiosity. In addition to being linked from the homepage image, Bing keeps a growing archive of the lessons on the Microsoft Education Network. There will be much more to come here, so stay tuned.
At Microsoft, we are committed to working hard on behalf of students, and we are always looking for ways to improve the technology that is transforming education. Bing in the Classroom is one more step forward in ensuring students can learn anytime, anywhere, in a safe, secure environment. I am thrilled that we can now reach so many more students throughout the U.S.
Thank you to the many teachers, parents and school leaders who have worked with us to continue to improve and enhance this great program. I look forward to hearing about your experiences - both with search and the daily lesson plans. Let me know what you think @anthonysalcito.
Anthony SalcitoVice President of Worldwide Education