What’s the number 1 app on your app store? Whether you’re on the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, the top apps are probably the same – YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook…you get the message right? Even if you talk categories, the most popular ones are gaming, social media, photos, entertainment and shopping. Those are some constants that never change right? You surely don’t see an education app topping the most downloaded category.
But it did. For about a week in the August of 2017, Remind, a school communications app, climbed to the #1 spot on the most downloaded free iOS app chart. It was a rare event to watch an educational platform steal the spotlight from popular media and entertainment apps that usually reign unequivocal on the charts. The development certainly highlights the potential that education apps hold in our world. There is a huge market for them, and dare we say, some much needed disruption is in order.
Education Apps are Doing Great Business
Premier education apps like Lynda.com, Udacity and Coursera have already shown the way when it comes to making impressive profits by providing quality educational material. Lynda.com was acquired by LinkedIn for a whopping $1.5 billion in 2015.
In India, the success of Byju’s – The Learning App speaks for itself. Grossing a humongous ₹100 Crores in monthly revenue as well as amassing a venerable reputation, Byju’s is an example of edtech at its best.
“Last month we crossed Rs 100 crores in revenue. With a consistent 20% month-on-month growth, we expect to finish this year with Rs 1400 crores in revenue. The launch of the personalized version of our app last year, helped us boost engagement and enhanced the learning experience for our students,” said Byju Raveendran, CEO, Byju’s in an official statement.
Education System Needs a Tech Revolution
The way apps have changed our lives is no short of a rebellion. Waiting has become nascent. Waiting for a cab, waiting in a queue at the bank, waiting at the airport for a boarding, everything is done for. There’s an app for that.
When it comes to education though, we’ve tasted the sweet potential, but we’re not quite there yet. We know there’s a way to use technology to radicalize education. There are some wonderful education apps available, but there’s the need for many more. The world is open to pro-quality apps that –
- Make learning easier
- Ease the burden of homework
- Make understanding and remembering concepts easy
- Visualize lessons making them easier to grasp and retain
- Make well delivered lectures available for on demand self-learning
- Use creative animations to help kids break psychological barriers and perceive learning as fun and not forced and monotonous
- Break geographical boundaries and make high quality education accessible to people in remote locations
- Break the language barrier and help students learn in a language they are comfortable with
- Help learn new skills parallel to the regular curriculum
- Provide effective communication tools for teachers and students
- Enable effective research and exchange of notes
As you can imagine, there is plenty of market need and opportunity here. Sure there are many apps that are providing game changing edtech right now but there’s still plenty of room to grow and if you are a tech enthusiast or entrepreneur, with a desire to improve the education system, education apps can offer you not just a profitable market but also a chance to really make a difference in the lives of billions of students and learners in the world struggling with a particularly challenging, nearly dysfunctional education system.
To get you started, let’s talk about some basic features and functionalities a good education app must have.
1. Find Your Core Value
As evident in the list above, there are many ways to use technology to aid education. So what do you wish to do with your app. Are you inclined towards focusing on the very base of education and develop a subject focused app that offers lessons, tutorials and interactive lectures, similar to the likes of Lynda.com and Byju’s?
Or would you like to develop a platform for students and teachers to communicate, collaborate and interact, like Remind and Google Classroom.
Could you develop an app for teachers to help them save time on tedious commitments like grading assignments, maintaining records, sending out notices, create and share assessments, provide personalized feedback and others?
Or you could develop apps that help teachers improve their teaching by creating interesting presentations, animations, diagrams and graphs etc.
Isolate your core value and focus your product development on that. Identify the features you want your app to offer depending on the audience you wish to target, be it teachers, students or parents.
2. Research What Your Audience Needs The Most
Once you know which part of the education system you wish to facilitate, spend a lot of time researching the scope of your service. What is it that your audience struggles with? Where do they feel stuck? What do they search for on the internet?
3. Pull out Your Creative Best in the Value You Are Adding
Here comes the fun part. How can you make things better? What can you do differently? What value can you add?
Apps like Photomath, Mathway and Wolfram Alpha help students click a picture of their math problem and solve it in complete detail. Remind translates messages in 70 different languages, to help parents, teachers and students interact. Teach Learn Lead is a social network just for teachers. Doceri turns your phone into an interactive whiteboard.
What can you do to make the lives of students and teachers easier? Find your unique solutions and if you do it well, you can have an education app that your users come to rely on, leading to a large and loyal user base and need we say, steady revenue.
Education isn’t a trend, it is a lifelong process and perhaps the oldest institution of our civilization. Quality education, delivered through an app is a great way to impart knowledge as well as build a sustainable business. So if you are passionate about helping people learn better, and do it with technology, the brilliant world of education apps awaits you.