Sometimes something just makes sense.
People who write software for education have a large hill to climb, especially if they're doing it alone or in a small group.
After all, how many people can write great software, understand the pedagogical aspects of good educational software, run a business, do market research, perform marketing, make sales calls and close sales, design web sites, establish marketing channels, write contracts, negotiate deals, perform bookkeeping, handle all tax filings, and so on? What is the minimum number of people required to do all of these functions well?
If you don't have these skills and don't have associates who can fill in the blanks, then you'd better have enough money to hire those who do -- or have a great support group.
The Educational Software Cooperative with a blog at http://educationalsoftware.blogspot.com/ is just such an organization. Members include developers, publishers, distributors, and users of educational software. While anyone can participate in the group on its public forum, the real advantages stem from its members-only forum. That's where Al Harberg hosts his world-renowned ESC Marketing Book Club. Each month, Al selects a book on marketing. He provides excellent summaries of the topics in each chapter, a sort of "Reader's Digest" of great marketing books. Members comment on their perspectives of the current topics.
You cannot help but gain great understanding of marketing educational software this way because Al goes out of this way to interpret the books specifically for educational software developers.
Each year, the ESC presents an award for Outstanding Achievement in Educational Software. The submission rules are being revised for the 2011 award, and the 2010 award will be announced soon.
I just makes sense for anyone who's involved in educational software in any capacity to join this stellar group of dedicated professionals. The membership fee is very modest; you can't lose.
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