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education

Duolingo, the popular and free language-learning app launched on Windows Phone last week, and I've been playing with it to refresh my Spanish lessons from high school. I like it because it feels like a game I have to beat. If you haven't tried it out yet, we've installed Duolingo on the Lumia 930 and placed it in front of the camera. Go watch the hands-on video.

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Microsoft has made it so parents can search through national ranking and academic ratings for schools on Bing, from elementary all the way up to higher education. There's also a rating for the immediate area, which is an important factor when considering placements, especially if it means the family will relocate to accommodate said education. As with numerous features of Bing, this is open to those who reside in the US.

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Los Angeles officials are looking to Chromebooks, Microsoft's Windows 8 and other hardware to complement its iPad offering in the education sector. Students in Los Angeles have enjoyed the use of iPads to aid with not only their education, but also social lives too thanks to easily bypassing any security filters in place. Schools will be able to differentiate what is offered to students, a choice of six devices.

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TED is a nonprofit (started in 1984) focusing on spreading ideas using short talks, covering everything from science to business to global issues, and official Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps have just been released. The global community houses folk from around the world, welcoming those who desire a deeper understanding of the world as we know it today. The main website is a library full of content, which is now accessible using nothing more than your tablet, PC or Windows Phone.

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Microsoft continues to push the Surface Pro 3 tablet as a replacement for the regular notebook in many different settings. Today, the company announced that the elite private Cincinnati Country Day School in Cincinnati, Ohio will be the first educational institution to use the 12-inch Surface Pro 3. It's good to see the up-to $23,600 tuition that CCDS parents pay to go towards a high-end Windows tablet like this.

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Microsoft and hardware partners have announced new products at various price points for US public schools. The company has been working with the education system to bring Bing and safer searching to younger users. This latest move, part of the YouthSpark initiative, sees new hardware that's both lightweight and robust. The goal is to "empower youth through technology."

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A combination of deals from the Microsoft Store could have you making off with a Surface Pro 2 at a great price, so long as you're a current student or teacher. Microsoft's education site already provides a solid 10 percent discount on most everything from the store, including the Surface Pro 2, but a current end of the school year promotion will shave an additional $100 off your purchase if you use a promo code.

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Microsoft is rolling out the Bing in the Classroom program, which has just entered the second phase. Stage two will see a broad availability of ad-free and "safer" searching to all eligible K-12 public and private schools in the US. Advertising is stripped out and searches are prevented from being utilized for personalized advertising to help keep youngsters safe while online.

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The education space is a battle arena for business notebooks that want to prove they are durable enough to serve use by hundreds of kids and cheap enough to fit into the local school budget. While Dell and Lenovo are both shooting for first place, Dell still has the advantage of having more government contracts already signed off. To improve their existing lineup of machines, the company has announced the new “classroom-ready” Latitude 13 laptop.

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Providing kids the means to get a head start in life is the desire of any parent. To lend a helping hand when it comes to reading, Ladybird has released I'm Ready for Phonics on Windows 8. The app contains 12 levels to progress through, supporting the child's synthetic phonics learning at school. Not only is the app enjoyable, but children will also benefit from the content in the long run.

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Microsoft is looking to take full advantage of existing Windows infrastructure in schools and universities. ZDNet spoke with two education technology chiefs who went with Dell Windows 8 tablets and rolled them out to students. The overall response has been positive, especially from the IT departments who can easily integrate the tablets into existing networks and systems.

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The folks at Microsoft have spent time and energy attempting to get consumers to switch over from Google and to instead use their in house search engine, Bing. The company is now focusing their efforts on the education system as it launches "Bing for Schools". The new program is described as "a new initiative designed to improve digital literacy for students by putting technology in classrooms".

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While analysts are stating that Microsoft’s Surface isn’t doing as well as hoped, yesterday the Redmond technology company stated that they have “had a LOT of interest from businesses, schools and universities wanting to use Surface.” Today, Surface is currently available in 29 different markets and over 10,000 physical stores worldwide.

Three major announcement about Surfaces availability in the USA, commercial partnerships, and education were announced.

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App Discovery by Windows Phone Parent is a Windows Phone app designed to help you discover apps for your children. The application is the official Windows Phone app for WindowsPhoneParent.com and sorts apps by age group and categories.

Categories include foreign language, math, memory, skill development, literacy and more. Age categories start at the toddler years (18-36 months) to the teenage years.

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