Selection Criteria for Educational Video

Mark Richie (
Fri, 22 Jun 2001 13:37:22 -0700 (PDT)

Greetings Listers:
The following is posted in our web site for the entertainment of the
librarians in our member schools.
Additions gladly accepted with full attribution.

Cheers, Mark Richie

Over the last 18 years, the Director has viewed several thousand
educational productions at National Media Market and served on
festival juries including EFLA/AFVA and BIEFF. In that time he has
developed a
list of criteria that help him avoid purchasing poor productions
and just plain
bad video for education.

Here then, in no particular order, are the results of his
experience for the benefit
of other media selection professionals.

Avoid Buying:

Any production with the word "film' in the title that can only be
purchased on video.

Any title that a reviewer says, "must be seen by every high school
student in America."

Any video with a hyphen or colon in the title.

Titles made by graduate students.

Any video with a list price of $400 available for a limited time
only at $39.95.

Productions that take more than 40 words to explain.

Educational video reviewed by "Atlantic Monthly," "The Nation," or
USA Today.

Videos described in "Booklist" as compelling, evocative or

Any title the sales rep says is "selling really well."

Productions featuring songs, "students can relate to."

Anything with the word "bloodbath" in the title.

Titles that feature an American English narration as a major
selling feature.

Drug abuse programs featuring David Soul or Marla Maples.

A "revised 4th edition"

Productions with more than six words in the title.

Almost anything with a II or larger number in the title unless it's
by Shakespeare.

Productions featuring a tooth, puppet or a house plant as the
central character.

Comprehensive productions about the Civil War running under 10
minutes or over three hours.

Titles by any producer that mentions body parts in the corporate

Any production in which the copyright date, grade level and running
time are considered
proprietary information.

A fifteen part series on the four points of the compass.

Titles purporting to reveal the "inside story," "truth about," or
the "real story" of almost anything.