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Developing an Educational App: The Ultimate Guide for 2020

How to develop apps for education

The world is changing, and in the process, more technologies are being embraced. As a result, today, approximately 43% of the global population uses the internet. Every sector of the new world is affected by these tech disruptions in one way or another, and education is no exception.

Educational mobile app development targets both learners and tutors to create different e-learning platforms.

Unlike in years gone when you had to attend classes physically, you can now study anywhere and anytime, at your own convenience. Therefore, If you’re looking at taking learning to the next level, you need to develop an education app.

This guide leads you through the basics of education app development right from trends and benefits to the features and design that you need to incorporate.

A Brief Overview of the Market Growth for Online Learning

Following the period from December of 2019 and nearing the 1st quarter of 2020, the world has been faced with an unforeseen problem as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic; quarantine and total lockdowns have been announced in many countries.

This incidence is making the need for online learning and distance form of education more relevant, and the question arises as to how these can be implemented.

So, we're going to try to capture a trend, and use it for our own purposes.

For starters, the online learning market is one of the fastest-growing markets in the educational sector. It began in the 1960s with the advent of the computer.

Then personal computers like Mac helped to bring them to doorsteps. By the early 2000s, only 8% of people were using it even as schools and businesses began to employ it.

But by 2008, the figure increased to 20%. According to elearninginfographics.com, in 2016 there were 5.8 million people enrolled in online courses, a 263% increase from 2004!

Key indicators on E-learning

The infographics illustrate how disruptive game-changers are impacting the educational landscape. All the drivers are due to digitization.

Again, following Research and Markets predictions, the worldwide e-learning market is projected to be worth $325 Billion in 2025. That is over a 300% increase from 2015's 107 billion.

But why is this happening, what's the sweet spot, what makes online learning special? Why is it necessary to create an educational app?

What are the Benefits of Apps for Education?

A large number of people are utilizing educational apps, from different backgrounds, and of all ages. This means by knowing how to create an educational app, you bring specific benefits to consumers and enterprises.

Here are the Elearning benefits both for businesses and the lone user. The advantages are divided into two parts:

  • Benefits to the Customer
  • Benefits to the Business

 

Benefits to the Customer

For the personal user, there are a lot of benefits that it carries. These include:

  • Setting your own pace: For most educational software, the users can select as many curricula as they want to. They can pause at any given time, to continue later. You can choose to fit an ample amount of learning in as little as a week or they could pace themselves and stretch it to a number of years. This is a very important feature for most users because most traditional institutions generally have a conventional timeline they follow.
  • Hassle-free learning: The stress involved in the traditional educational process. Developing an education app is one way of getting at education with reduced pressure.
  • Digital Literacy: Believe it or not, these technologies are solving a major world problem too. To take courses online, most users have to have a certain level of computer knowledge. This know-how enables them to interact effectively with your fellow students and follow what's going on efficiently.
  • Developing new skill sets: On the part of the course facilitators, software creation helps them become adept at using the computer. It also improves computer skills for a lot of them, especially with video and messaging technology.
  • Engagement: E-learning programs offer a huge benefit of engaging the students on the information that has been taught on. Engagement helps a lot with retention. In fact, the Research Institute of America has observed that online learning increases retention as much as from 25-60%. There are platforms where students can communicate with facilitators, eliminating some of the anxiety students feel in talking to their lecturers.
  • Interactivity: Education app development helps to eliminate some of the anxiety students feel in traditional classrooms. For some students, asking questions or raising a valid point could be a challenge because of the apprehension they feel about standing in the classroom, and even in face to face interactions with other students. Educational software provides a variety of platforms to communicate both with the lecturers and their fellow students.
  • Innovative teaching methods: Unlike the traditional method that's mostly restricted to classical methods of teaching, education apps help the facilitators with new and stimulating ways of reaching across to the student. They could use games, simulations, conferences and other interesting methods to deliver content.

Benefits to the Business

As stated on techjury.net, e-learning for companies grew by a spectacular 900% from 2001 to 2017.

  • Cost-effectiveness: A great benefit of education mobile app development is that compared to traditional institutions it is affordable. That is if you add up the cost of either transportation, accommodation, feeding, and money spent on materials and books compared to the cost of online education. There is a greater cost to traditional education on the whole than online learning programs. IBM saved approximately $200 million after switching to e-learning.
  • Skills acquisition: Individualization of education for employees could improve knowledge and skills. This way adds to the cost-saving benefit of developing education apps.
  • Better marketing: You can consider education as one of the marketing tools. When educational programs reach out to customers or potential customers. This will promote brands and build a stronger bond with the audience.
  • Improvement in performance: An increase in performance is a major benefit of online learning to businesses. An increase in performance means an increase in the company's bottom line.
  • Time-saving: Since employees can pace themselves on learning, it saves time for the company since the programs can be sped up to accommodate the company's pace. Employees can also learn on their personal times or during leisure times at work. This cuts down on the company time that would have been expended in the training.
  • Productivity Tracking: Educational app development allows the company to track each employee's progress, identifying strengths and weaknesses. The program/course can then be tailored to boost or meet with their rate of advancement. The result will eliminate the occurrence of gaps in learning.

Types of Educational Applications

Before you start a project on how to make an educational app, you need to know the types of software that are most in-demand.

As per Cision reports, Google Apps for Education is expected to have 110 million users by 2020

Graph of user growth over the past 10 years of Google Apps for Education

The image shows the growth of the numbers of users. In total, approximately 41% growth rate was observed over one decade.

Using these stats, it’s safe to state that the education app development market demand is on a continuous surge. It is likewise anticipated to sustain this boom.

Here are the 2 main types of education apps:

  • Apps for Learners
  • Apps for Teachers

 

Apps for Learners

Apps of this nature are primarily created for the receiving end of users. They are mostly for those interested in educational content for individual and business/career purposes.

Together with taking into account how to create an educational app for learners, here are the subcategories you should also target.

  • For a specific purpose: You can create an educational app for a particular goal. It can be language, cooking, coding, brain training, etc. The idea is built around that sole purpose. Examples of these types of apps are Duolingo, Sketchbook, Tasty, Elevate, etc.
  • For kids: These are applications developed to augment and simplify learning for kids. They are usually designed to appeal to kids and may include lots of colors, songs, and rhymes, sketching coloring and games. They are for the ages of between 0-12 years. They help in making children intrigued about education and their development. Over 80% of the top-selling paid apps in the Education category of the iTunes Store target children. This is probably why the number of apps for children has soared in every age category, with an accompanying decrease in apps for adults. Examples include khan academy kids, 123 Numbers, etc.
  • For exams: Developing an educational app for training students for certain exams is possible. These exams could be SAT, TOEFL, or for driving license tests, nursing licenses, aviation aptitudes, etc. The apps contain a wealth of information on how to prepare for the exam. Their content may incorporate curricula, useful tips, and mock papers, and frequently asked questions about the exam. The aim is to increase knowledge and confidence in the user. Examples include EduRev, Sat and IETLS Preps, etc.
  • For Educational Information: These are designed to bolster and assist learning. They contain information on several topics that could be in the form of documents, audio or video lessons on a wide array of topics. Examples include dictionary apps, encyclopedia apps, TED, thesaurus apps, etc. You may also require a free resource for design tips, photos, and signup to receive free stock images.

Apps for Teachers

They are typically built to assist the teacher. The purpose of such education mobile app development is to assist tutors in finding simpler and more beneficial ways of passing information across to learners.

The apps integrate all the bells and whistles a teacher employs in teaching. Mechanisms for scheduling a curriculum, examinations, and quizzes, etc, are likewise featured. Examples include lesson plans, plan board, and teacher programs.

Consider these subgroups of educational apps for teachers.

  • Apps for planning
  • Apps for scheduling
  • Apps for generating charts and analysis
  • Apps grading

 

Technology Trends for Educational Apps Market

There are certain trends that are emerging in the field of online learning. A lot of them are changing the narrative on education. They push innovative methods of educational app development and excitement to learning. These include:

Gamification

This is the use of game-based mechanics and technology to solve problems outside of the games sector. In this case the educational sector.

The medley of game technology and education is being used to engage the user and then interact with them. This effectively enhances how to create an educational app and learning experience, in general.

According to Statista, the education gamification market is expected to grow from 93 million U.S. dollars in 2015 to nearly 1.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2020.

Gaming market growth forecast for 2020

This analysis includes details on the importance of the education gamification industry worldwide in 2015 and 2020. According to the calculations, the education gamification industry is projected to rise.

A.R & V.R. (Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality)

Augmented reality and Virtual reality are set to be one of the biggest trends in the educational mobile app development sector. With big names like Facebook and Microsoft already gearing to incorporate it in their design and development.

More mobile phones are also adding features that support A.R. and V.R. being used by more corporations for their training.

Statista suggests that the augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) market amounted to a forecast of 18.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 and is expected to expand drastically in the coming years.

Voice Assistants and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Currently, mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, and other technical gadgets such as Alexa and Siri are personalizing User Experience. These are afforded with the help of intense machine learning algorithms.

Voice Assistants and AI are now being merged into mobile education app development and they impact the e-learning sector. It has been indicated that there are additional machine learning apps of LMS being put together with AI capabilities.

Voice assistants like Google Assistant, Apple's Siri, and Microsoft's Alexa, have the potential to perform significant functions making our life simpler. As they can in the educational app sector.

5G

5G connectivity means a more stable, faster internet connection. 5G will be a big boon for the education mobile app development market as the announcement that it supports mobile device processors and hardware has gotten a lot of attention.

The 5G network is going to obliterate the difficulty in buffering and streaming. It would also improve the connection speed and thereby accelerate mobile learning.

With this speed, we can expect a lot of changes from 5G, like enhancement in gamification. Learning experience improvement and an increase in the quality of video and audio content streaming are also part of the deal.

The number of 5G connections is projected to grow to 1.1 billion by 2025, with the number of 5G subscriptions projected to reach 2.61 billion that same year. Hopefully, any keen software developer will be able to take advantage of the forecast to create an educational app.

Crucial Features for Your First App for Education

When developing an educational app, there are features and functionalities that must be a part of your design. They help to maximize user experience and keep your app easy to navigate and organized. These include:

  • Sign up / Log in
  • Dashboard/user profile
  • Search bar/Filters
  • AI-sourced behavioral analysis modules
  • Link to Social media
  • In-app social platform
  • Database
  • Educational Content
  • Scheduling system
  • Download of materials
  • Projects, exams
  • Analytics e. g. charts, reports, etc
  • Offline mode
  • Push Notifications

These are the major essentials, but you can add extra bells and whistles. So far as it doesn't contest your educational app development or diminish the overall satisfaction of the user.

Business Model Canvas or How Educational Apps Make Money?

Cost of developing an educational app

In educational mobile app development, you should know whether or not to monetize. The reality is that the majority of these apps are paid. Still, there are a few pointers to check if you’re considering how to make an educational app with monetized features.

Take a look at the options that you can leverage.

  • Subscription: This seems to be the more popular way of monetizing an app, with a large number of apps using this model. During the education app development, you may want users to pay monthly or yearly subscription in order to gain access to the program. The motion maths for schools’ app is a subscription-based on with arithmetics and quantitative aptitude subjects.
  • Free trial: This educational app development feature involves offering your full range of content for a limited period of time. Two weeks seems to be an acceptable period of time for most software that uses this model. After the period of time, access is withdrawn and you ‘have to pay to get back access. This model is best for service-focused programs and allows brands to earn revenue on a recurring basis. Here, a good example will be Duolingo, which offers completely free use.
  • Freemium: This educational app development option involves limited access to content available to a user unless they subscribe to a payment plan. This mobile app business model helps to amass a large user base fast. It also unveils your app so that users are hooked and then you can put premium features they'll have to pay for. Adobe Stock images are an example of this method. You can subscribe to a standard or extended license, plus get 10 free stock images.
  • Ads: Virtually, you earn by selling data-driven advertising space in your educational mobile app development. You can do this independently or you could operate with a mobile ad partner. This might boomerang as ads are annoying and could generate user dissatisfaction. To ensure that this doesn't happen, limit the number of ads and take ads that are in line with your app. YouTube Kids serves mainly an educational function and displays paid advertisements at intervals. Paid: This is a "pay before play" business model. The payment for it is made upfront, even before download.
  • Paid apps can cost anywhere between $0.99 to $999.99, and brands make money in advance with every download. We can find this model as part of the LinkedIn Learning app.
  • In-App Purchases: This is when users pay for interesting features on the software. Whatever your app is selling, make sure the in-app purchases feel like a normal part of your app. For instance, check out Edx app, software for solving quizzes and complete assignments.
  • Certificates: Paying for the certificate is another option to consider in monetizing your app. A lot of online learning apps are using this to generate revenue. Most particularly in educational mobile app development for universities. Most learning apps give reward certificates at the end of each learning course.

Key Points in Education App Development

To be successful in developing an educational app, here are the steps you need to follow.

Quality Content

"Content is King". The quality of your content should be premium. Both with your curriculum, the courses you’ll offer. This needs a thorough evaluation. Low-quality educational content can mean that the number of traffic on the app would decrease significantly.

Highly technical content can narrow down the demographic of the users that connect to your app. Think about the people you’re creating for and what they want. It is almost always essential, even recommended to hire a curriculum expert to develop educational apps.

So indulge, as much as you can—bringing knowledge and excitement through your app. For a variety of free stock images, take advantage of Adobe Stock library.

Engagement

Engagement is needed to create an educational app that hits all the right notes. Many distractions exist on mobile phones, so, if an app that engages, it will lose its consumers to a myriad of other 'shinier' and more engaging things.

The content should entice and command the attention of the user. If not, there is going to be a lot of interference, not just on their phone, but from their environment too.

The interface should be highly responsive to every single interaction the user makes. For occasions of failure, motivation should be given almost automatically. When the user succeeds, reward them with points or praise and then challenge them.

Intent

Everything about your education app development, the design, the content and so on, should aim at boosting the learning experience of your user.

Learning should be deliberate. It should not be a forced obligation either should it be a drag. Which is why it's important to use innovative methods like gamification, AI, AR & VR.

Learning methods like contextualization and systemization should also be expended, in order to foster learning experience.

Social Aspect

Education mobile app development plans should include a social platform. A place where learners (and educators too) can interact with each other. This helps both in reinforcing what has been learned and in fostering learning.

Learners can join forces in order to expand their knowledge on a specific subject or skill. In e-learning environments, this is typically done through live chats, message boards, or instant messaging.

Discussion helps in committing to long-term memory. This is because it greatly aids retention. The user feels like a part of the community, they are more likely to re-engage on your platform.

This fosters collaborative learning which is based upon the belief that students can better their learning experiences by exchanging ideas with other students and bolstering each other in weaknesses and strengths.

Personalization

Personalization is the customization of education materials, educational content, and curriculum to address the needs and learning techniques of a particular learner.

The learners are encouraged to select their own objectives, move at their own tempo, and discuss with educators and other learners to assimilate the learning process.

Mostly, the student is placed in charge of regulating his/her own learning and is able to customize the affair by having a direct say in the processes and content that is provided. Given the chance to learn what they want when they want, and how they want, it typically leads to improved learning results.

Installing personalized features during education mobile app development will eventually create a feedback loop. By doing so, honest loopholes of your design can be exposed and you can work on making things better.

How to Create an Educational App and Survive: Tips from HuskyJam

Educational Mobile App Development Tips

We have prepared some tips that might be helpful as you prepare to make an educational app. These are winning tips that will help you navigate successfully:

  • Create a detailed CJM (Customer Journey Map) for each feature: Construction of detailed CJM when designing new features in the product. It is better to make a mistake and spend extra time at the design stage than to develop an “ill-considered” idea and lose time and money.
  • Constantly come up with improvements, try, test, draw conclusions and come up with again: Education is changing a lot and companies/start-ups are constantly looking for successful approaches, methodologies in online education. Without tests, you cannot find the best solutions for your audience. Product analytics tools that help highlight the product’s weaknesses can help. By the way, we have such a tool among our developments. It would help you not to get confused midway.
  • Be ready to pivot away from your initial design to what the user needs: Accumulate more data on user actions from the first steps of the project so that in the future you can analyze them and use this to build hypotheses for product development.
  • Determine the core aspects of what you want on your app: Do not chase the development of new fashionable features. First of all, think about the values ​​that your product gives the user. Often this refers to content and its structure.

Cost of Developing an Educational App

The cost of developing an educational app depends on the time required to complete the development and testing of the e-learning ecosystem.

For hourly hiring, average charges for mobile app development can range from $30 depending on how experienced your developer is.

It also depends on the features you want to add, the curriculum, and the design of your app.

Security also has a lot to do with the cost of your app. Most apps need a database to store information, especially sensitive information gathered from users.

If it's a children's app, it's even more sensitive and needs to be locked down very securely. The smallest leak can damage your company and reputation. Putting all of these together, an estimate for a basic app would be between $15000 -$30000.

Let’s help you cut cost and time: Send us a description of your project for a quick evaluation of the time frame and total expense. Click on the link to fill out the form and get started.

Conclusion

Educational app development is the now and the future of learning. It is here to stay and it is definitely getting bigger. It is also a favorable niche in terms of revenue in the mobile sector. You would do well to get on the bandwagon before it gets crowded.

If you have questions about how to create an educational app or would like an estimate for your own learning app, contact us.

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