Re: Query: Average cost of academic videos?

Frank Landrum (
Thu, 17 Dec 1998 11:33:42 -0800 (PST)

With all due respect to the Video Librarian, which is without doubt a high
quality publication, I cannot agree with your thoughts. Having worked in
regional agencies for over 25 years as both a reviewer and in coordinating
reviewing teams, there is a definite difference in overall quality of media
produced for the education market. Of course there are "dogs", but
generally speaking, we purchase 80-90% of media that comes from educational
vendors and little of the "made for tv" stuff. It usually does not include
a teacher guide, is often 58 minutes (with lots of filler) and has little
or no curriculum relevance.
I do not think Mike was saying that videos are the same as textbooks. I
read his statement as making an analogy of trade to text.
Yes there are lots of videos out there that do a decent job at a cheap
price. But education, like any other field or business, needs to seek out
the best quality that it can find. I would rather have 10 high quality
videos than 50 mediocre quality ones. We still buy the Schesslinger and
others, but we buy mostly from the United Learning, AGC, and Benchmarks of
the world. For one thing, true professional vendors allow us to preview
before purchase. The cheapo mail order houses often will not. They
provide many services beyond filling a purchase order.
Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts.
Best wishes to those on this wonderful listerv.
Frank Landrum
Lane ESD
Eugene, Or.
>Dear Mike,
>I would have to disagree on several counts: I'm not sure, first of all, that
>there are very many videos out there which are the "equivalent" of
>textbooks, either by happpenstance or design. For the academic market, in
>particular, how many independent filmmakers make a documentary thinking they
>are creating "core curriculum" material? I'm also not convinced that
>educational materials are--ipso facto--priced higher. Schlessinger Media
>produces excellent curriculum materials for $29.95-$39.95 per half-hour.
>Many Sunburst Communications titles--all curriculum based--are priced at
>$49.95. Chip Taylor Communications has recently lowered prices from
>$19.95-$39.95 on home video titles (which, of course, can be used in a
>face-to-face classroom teaching situation.) Too, I think we tend to use the
>word "curriculum" as some kind of talisman--I've seen plenty of so-called
>curricular videos that stink on ice, regardless of whether they meet
>curricular objectives. In 15 years or reviewing, I've come to the conclusion
>that price and quality are absolutely unrelated.
>Randy Pitman
>Video Librarian
>8705 Honeycomb Ct. NW
>Seabeck, WA 98380
>Tel: (800) 692-2270
>>Dear Barbara,
>>Generally speaking, there is an enormous difference among videos sold as
>>...educatonal videos that are core curricular, the primary and sole market
>for >which are schools and colleges -the equivalent of textbooks - are on
>the high side >- up to $395. Again, as in the book analogy, a trade book
>sells for some $20 >odd, while the texbook for $80 odd.
>>Mike Solin, President
>>Benchmark Media (a producer of curricular videos)