Magazine article Technology & Learning

Why Buy School Versions?

Magazine article Technology & Learning

Why Buy School Versions?

Article excerpt

This is the time of year when teachers are bombarded with parental requests for software buying advice for the holidays. It's also the time when stores are flooded with new titles that promise to entertain young people while teaching them skills. As you peruse this month's T&L software award winners or visit local stores, you'll probably be struck by how many titles out there are aimed at both the home and school market.

Companies that are most serious about selling to schools generally provide school versions of their programs. Yet many report that educators often buy consumer versions. Sometimes this is due to a lack of awareness; it's possible to miss the fact that a program is available in a school edition. Sometimes educators can't wait; most titles that hit the market for the holidays won't be out in school versions for months.

Even more often the issue is cost. We've seen examples of school editions that cost twice as much as consumer versions--in part because pressure in the retail market drives consumer prices below the "suggested retail" level. It's important to know what you're getting for your extra bucks. We've certainly seen cases where a company slaps together a booklet with a few teaching suggestions and calls it a school version, or charges an extra $60 for a teacher's guide that is good but not good enough to warrant such a huge price discrepancy.

But before you rush out to buy consumer versions, consider some of the reasons to "buy school. …

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