It’s August, which means parents and students are starting to think about the start of a new school year. The return to the classroom brings a mix of excitement and nervousness. To better understand what is top-of-mind for parents preparing for the 2015-`16 school year, with the goal of helping users find valuable resources, Bing tapped into its rich search data and predictions algorithms. The Bing predictions technology compiled a list of five most-searched topics for this back to school season, and some possible solutions to make the school year run more smoothly:
- Meal-planning tops the list this back-to-school season. This includes developing new ideas for providing healthy lunches. Use Bing’s image search to find healthy, fun and creative lunch ideas or the recipe carousel for dinner time and save all your ideas to OneNote for easy reference on all your devices.
- The price tag associated with the back-to-school season is also a top stressor for parents. Based on cost-related searches, parents will be most focused on the expenses such as school uniforms and school supplies, including tablets. To help with back to school shopping, Bing’s image insights feature can help you easily flip through photos of school supplies, locate stores to purchase your favorite items and price compare.
- Social issues students may face are also a big concern. This can include peer pressure and bullying. There are several online resources where parents can find information to help them talk to their kids about bullying and learn how to seek help if necessary.
- After-school care is top-of-mind with parents sorting through options such as babysitters, after-school clubs and after school transportation. Parents seeking after-school care can use Bing to search local child care providers and access Yelp reviews to make sure it fits their child’s needs. Set pick-up and drop-off reminders with real-time traffic notifications with your very own personal assistant, Cortana on Windows 10.
- Quality of education continues to be a hot topic with parents, making it no surprise that number five in Bing’ findings point to topics including lack of funding, and STEM education as top stressors. Additionally, Bing is finding that year-over-year, the fastest-rising trend in education searches include apps for education, online education games for kids and online school options. For parents thinking about quality of education, Microsoft YouthSpark offers free resources to help students get ahead, as well as learn key technology, computer sciences and coding skills. Visit Microsoft Imagine for free online coding tools, games and tutorials, or DigiGirlz for free online courses and events designed for girls. Bing in the Classroom also offers lesson plans focused on digital literacy as well as being a safe, ad-free and more private search environment at school.
Share your tips for tackling back to school stressors to the @Bing Twitter handle. As summer break comes to an end Bing wishes parents and students good luck with the first day of school!
-The Bing Team