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Schools Choose Windows 8 and Bing Opens Up New Schools Program

June 25, 2013 1 Comment

Yesterday, Microsoft announced that they have signed 31 K–12 schools and school districts for Windows 8. Bing also announced that they are starting a schools program.

Bing Team:

are a few things you can likely expect:

Keeping Our Kids Focused on Learning:As a country, we’ve set schools aside as a special place that is focused on learning, and have traditionally kept advertising out of that environment. Bing For Schools removes ads from the search experience, keeping with our strong belief that schools are for learning and not selling.

Protecting Our Kids:Bing already offers the ability to filter out adult content with SafeSearch, but with Bing For Schools, SafeSearch will automatically default to the strict setting and remove kids ability to change it.

Educating Our Kids: In addition to the beautiful Bing homepage images, which feature hotspots that encourage exploration of new and unexpected topics, Bing For Schools will offer short lesson plans that teach digital literacy skills that are related to search and tied to the Common Core. For example, thispicture of a sloth might be coupled with the question “How many sloths could live in one square mile of jungle?” and a lesson helping students use search tools and critical thinking to find potential answers.


Press Release:

Windows 8 catches on in K–12 as districts move to modernize learning
June 24, 2013
New wins come fresh on heels of Surface education offers.

REDMOND, Wash. — June 24, 2013 — Microsoft Corp. today announced a new collection of 34 K–12 schools and school districts that have signed on to use Windows 8 to inspire collaboration and creativity in the classroom, improve student learning outcomes, and better prepare students for the workforce ahead.

Microsoft’s rapidly growing community of Windows education adopters now includes the following: Albemarle County Schools (Virginia), Auburn City Schools (Alabama), Clear Creek Independent School District (Texas), Laredo Independent School District (Texas), Leon County Schools (Florida), Palmer Trinity School (Florida), San Diego Unified School District (California), Somers Central School District (New York), Springfield Public Schools (Massachusetts), and Walnut Valley Unified School District (Calif.), as well as 24 school districts within Maine’s Department of Education, including Scarborough School District, Brewer School Department, Maine School District #74, and Maine School District #60.

These schools and districts join some of the nation’s largest school districts, which also recently announced Windows 8 deployments, including Atlanta Public Schools (Georgia), Fresno Unified School District (California) and San Antonio Independent School District (Texas).

“Educators who experience the difference of a touch tablet running Windows 8 realize that with one device, they can have both a touch tablet and a laptop with no compromises,” said Margo Day, vice president of U.S. Education, Microsoft. “Teachers using Windows 8 tell us they are seeing a renewed excitement to learn among their students and that Windows and Office are the tools they need to prepare students to succeed in college and career.”

With its cloud foundation, Windows 8 lends a flexible, anywhere-anytime learning experience across a range of devices. Designed to help students and teachers consume and create content, Windows 8 devices are ready for the modern Office applications that customers choose to install, applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, and OneNote. Windows RT devices come with Office Home and Student 2013 RT, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, already installed. Microsoft also recently announced that the Windows 8.1 update for Windows RT devices, due later this year, will include Outlook 2013 RT as well. Windows 8 devices drive further efficiency as they can connect to 450 million peripherals that schools already own, including printers, projectors and assistive technology.

“What I love about Windows 8 is that it flattens the learning environment for an improved, more interactive classroom dialogue between teachers and students,” said Chris White, director of technology at Somers Central School District in New York, which is deploying Dell Latitude 10 tablets with Windows 8 and Office 365 for Education for 1,675 teachers and students in grades 6–12.

“As just consumption devices, iPads could only take us so far — they weren’t great in front of the classroom,” White said. “Teaching with Windows 8 devices is more personalized and project-based to better reflect the college- and career-ready skills that will be required of students once they graduate.”

Microsoft extends special Windows 8 device offers to educators

Microsoft is also distributing free Surface RT tablets to the schools of up to 10,000 educators attending the ISTE 2013 Conference this week. As part of its Windows in the Classroom Surface Experience Project teachers will be able to see how Windows 8 can help create engaging teaching and learning opportunities for their students.

In addition, Microsoft is pleased to offer special pricing directly to schools and universities in 26 markets around the globe, including the U.S., for a limited time. Between June 17, 2013, and Aug. 31, 2013, K–12 and higher education institutions can purchase any amount of Surface RT (32 GB) devices for $199, with the Touch Cover for $249 and with the Type Cover for $289 while supplies last.

Representatives of interested schools and universities can contact their Microsoft Education Account Representative or visit their local Microsoft Store to place an order. More information on the program and on downloading an order form can be found at the Microsoft in Education blog.

Buck Lake Elementary School in Tallahassee, Fla., is piloting Surface Pro tablets for its pre-K–5 teachers, and they plan to take advantage of Microsoft’s special offer and will purchase Surface RT tablets for their students later this year.

“Our teachers need more versatile instructional technology that engages students and helps simplify their own everyday managerial tasks, and the Windows 8 Surface Pro tablets do just that,” said Eydie Tricquet, principal at Buck Lake Elementary School in Tallahassee, Fla.

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