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Beware Teacher-Targeted Ads

A press release marketing two-for-$200 Flip video cameras for educators just came my way. Cisco announced in April that it will no longer make the devices, which many teachers have incorporated into their classrooms because they are relatively cheap and easy to use. The educator-only "40% discount" that is being offered by Digital Wish, a nonprofit that helps K-12 teachers "solve technology shortfalls," includes tripods, camera cases, USB cables, and user licenses for Movie Maker.

The whole thing caught my attention, however, because I happened to be at Best Buy last weekend with a friend who was looking for an end-of-stock Flip cam. The price we were quoted for a one-hour HD was just under $50. The Best Buy website currently prices the camera at $64.99. Perhaps the New York store I was at had a surplus? (There's always a chance it was mismarked, but the employee was adamant that was the price.) I guess the point is that teachers, who need to be especially careful with their money these days, should do a bit of research before jumping at educator-targeted promotions. (And even if the accessories make up for some of the extra cost in the two-for-$200 promo, do you really need all of that stuff for the sort of quick shooting you'll be doing with students?)

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