Searching for Godot … and other things
Last year, we put a desktop computer in our upstairs hallway, which coincidentally doubles as my “office” because I’m a very fancy and important author. Doesn’t every famous author work at an Ikea desk shoved in the corner of the hallway? No? Moving on.
Anyway, the desktop is for the kids because Mommy doesn’t like using a keyboard and monitor that are covered in some sort of sticky disgustingness that never goes away despite repeated pleas for hand washing by the small people who use this computer on a daily basis. Ahem. Now we’re really moving on.
Josh set up each of the three kids with an ID and showed them how to use Internet Explorer and Outlook and told them to knock themselves out. Please note, all three kids, including four-year-old Maeve, now know how to use two more programs than their grandmother. FYI, 1998 called and it wants its AOL browser back, mom.
Jack, especially, was extremely interested in searching for things on the Internet.
“Mom, guess what the longest river in the world is,” he yelled downstairs one night. That was quickly followed by other gems such as, “Do you know what the longest street in Chicago is?” and “What year was the Chicago fire?”
Emmie’s search history has trended toward more, how shall we say, Disneyesque terms. A check of her browser history shows she hasn’t searched anything except “Frozen” and “Let It Go” since January.
Maeve’s search from yesterday was “hhhfgyajjjjjssssgh.” I bet it turned up fascinating links. In another language.
Thankfully, a parental block from Windows Family Safety keeps them from searching anything risqué, although we had to separately remove YouTube access after Jack announced one morning that he saw the funniest video of a giant baby drinking beer and smashing things. Whoops! No more YouTube for you, my dear.
While they aren’t using computers in their classrooms yet, there is a proposal to fund one-to-one laptops at our school for kids as young as fourth grade next year. Jack is only two years away from fourth grade, which means Jack is only two years away from having unfettered access to the Internet outside the house. Frightening. Even more frightening is the idea of Maeve being able to search “hhhfgyajjjjjssssgh” with reckless abandon.
Hopefully, by the time my kids are old enough to have technology in their actual classrooms, they will use programs like Bing in the Classroom, which offers ad-free safe search for schools. No ads, no questionable content, just answers to your kids’ most pressing questions. Because I am certain Jack won’t be searching for “the longest river in the world” for much longer. I’m actually terrified Santa Claus will be outed through a quick Internet search one night.
In addition to their search features, Bing in the Classroom also provides digital literacy lesson plans for teachers and if you sign up for Bing Rewards, you can donate earned points toward Surface tablets in your school. And who doesn’t want free Surface tablets for their schools? Communists. And probably people who work for other computer giants. But they can just donate their points to my kids’ school! Win-win for everyone.
This post was created in partnership with Bing.