To better enable teachers to order educational products online, Social Studies School Service (SSSS) in July launched a Web catalog offering nearly 15,000 products. Developed by Menlo Park, CA-based Cuesta Technologies, the site sells social studies-related books, charts, videos, and CD-ROMs. Teachers and other buyers of educational supplies can search the site by author, title, subject, keyword, publisher, medium, and school grade level, says Aaron Willis, catalog manager for Culver City, CA-based SSSS, which also distributes its products through 39 print catalogs.
The average order has been in the $80-$100 range. Response has been “at least twice our expectations,” Willis claims, though he won’t say what those expectations were.
The site offers, via plug-in technology, five-minute previews of the videos SSSS carries. In addition, “if you’re interested in an activity book about U.S. history, for instance, you can see the product description, an image, and a link to actual activities from the book that we reproduce online,” Willis says. “This way, a teacher can look at these books and decide if they’re appropriate for the class.”