Educational Software for the PC Takes a Nose Dive: "In 2000, sales of educational software for home computers reached $498 million.. By 2004, sales of educational software - a category that includes programs teaching math, reading and other subjects as well as reference works like encyclopedias - had plummeted to $152 million .. Only 222 educational programs for PC's sold more than 10,000 copies in 2004, down from 447 in 2001. As sales began to decrease, retailers devoted less and less shelf space to these titles, making recovery for the industry more difficult. ..
[Why?] With free games and learning sites now available all over the Internet, parents are finding that they do not need to buy software .. The preschool and elementary school set is also moving toward portable gadgets like the LeapPad .. Older students, industry analysts said, are less likely to buy educational software when reference material and encyclopedias are free online. And there is the pass-along effect. Simple programs for toddlers and young children are often handed down among brothers and sisters because the titles and curriculums do not change much over the years. .. Other industry analysts and executives said that parents' frustration at installing new programs and the nearly universal availability of computers in classrooms have made using home PC's for learning less appealing.
Spending on teaching tools and toys had increased. Spending on tutors, she said, rose to $4 billion in 2004, from $3.4 billion a year earlier. Yet educational software is getting an ever smaller share of that consumer dollar. It is among the lowest-priced of any software category; in 2004 the average price for an educational program was $18" 10:18:00 PM