Software Design and Costs

Will They Buy It?

Questions to Consider

Though RAND's experience with revamping ARC/INFO appears to be a success, what other commercial software packages would be appropriate for ESSCOTSization? Will commercial software producers be willing to cooperate? Even if software designers agree to convert scientific tools into educational tools, the cost to educators will still be great. Though the production time for ESSCOTS is minimal compared to from-scratch educational packages, the cost of the original design, as well as copyrights, will keep software prices in the hundreds of dollars. Schools prefer not to purchase software with three or four digit pricetags, and it is questionable whether the quality and sophistication of ESSCOTS will be worth the spending. But what if they were purchased at the district level instead of the classroom level, with the software designers authorizing copying rights within the local school system? ESSCOTS would then be an affordable, if not compelling addition to any teacher's toolbox. Could software companies be pressured into making such a generous decision?

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