ERIC Number: ED262747
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Feb-6
Reference Count: N/A
The National Education Association's Educational Computer Service. An Assessment.
Software Publishers Association, Washington, DC.
The Educational Computer Service (ECS) of the National Education Association (NEA) evaluates and distributes educational software. An investigation of ECS was conducted by the Computer Education Committee of the Software Publishers Association (SPA) at the request of SPA members. The SPA found that the service, as it is presently structured, is deficient in three major respects: structure, evaluation fees, and licensing tie-in. First, the organizational form of ECS conflicts with its stated mission of rewarding and encouraging development of quality educational software. The closeness of the tie between the service and Cordatum (the consulting firm which provided funds for the start-up of the service as well as technical and administrative assistance) leads SPA to the conclusion that the evaluation program is secondary to the profit-making interests of Cordatum. Second, there is little justification for the assessment of evaluation fees, a problem compounded by the uneven manner in which these fees have been levied. Third, there is an inherent conflict of interest in linking software evaluations with software sales of approved products by Cordatum. For all these reasons it is recommended by SPA that publishers seek product evaluations by other educational services. A list of organizations that conduct evaluations and a selected list of software firms with established reputations among educators are appended. (Author/MBR)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Software Publishers Association, Washington, DC.