How much have you educated your kids about advertising online? As parents we spend a great deal of time educating our kids about safety online and appropriate behavior (and then we all pray that our kids take our advice). But do we spend the same amount of time educating our kids about how advertising works online?
I found myself considering this recently when Bing made a big announcement about offering a free, safe, ad-stripped version of their search engine to schools (disclosure: I have a professional relationship with an agency that works with Bing). Since so much of the advertising you see on search engines is based on what you’ve searched for, it seems like kids need to be educated about both the difference between ads and search results, and the risks of clicking on those ads and that the ads are made to look very much like search results.
This is why Bing’s announcement is such welcome news. Giving kids the ability search at school without the distraction of advertising is a great option. Here’s how they announced it on their blog.
Today, we’re announcing a new initiative to give one context in particular a special treatment: we’re helping our nation’s schools to teach digital literacy skills. Starting later this year, Bing For Schoolswill 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 enhance digital literacy.
The program is completely voluntary: schools have the choice of participating or keeping the normal Bing experience. For those that opt-in, Bing will enable the experience across all searches from within the school’s network on Bing.com, without any need for special software or a different search address. And of course, Bing For Schools is free for any school or districts wishing to participate.
If you are interested in having ad-free Bing for your school, you can enter your email and get more information.