What to Know about Developing a Custom Education App
The demand for a custom education app is ever-increasing. As more and more students enroll in online courses, the online learning industry is projected to pass $370 billion in the next five years. After 2020’s pandemic forced in-person learning to scale back in 2020, software developers are looking to create custom software solutions for education.
There are many elements to consider before moving forward with developing a custom education app. In this guide, we’ll cover the benefits of using custom apps for education, the different types of educational apps, and some key tips for awesome educational app development.
The Benefits of a Custom Education App
Students from all age groups and backgrounds turn online to pursue education, and app developers are uniquely positioned to meet their needs through a custom education app. But what benefits do users get from utilizing an app for online education?
Benefits for Users
Educational apps have the potential to simplify the learning process. A custom app engages students in a more efficient and exciting way.
For self-guided educational programs – like those used in language learning – a custom app lets students learn at their own pace. Users can take control of their curriculum’s speed and fit it into their lives as they wish.
To that point, custom educational apps address a lot of accessibility issues encountered by some students in traditional classrooms. The ability to hear and read the information being shared simultaneously, with the power to pause at any time, helps solve some of the input problems they might face during in-person lectures.
Teachers also benefit through more engaging ways to learn new information. Using games, video, and simulations, teachers can create more engaging content that students are more likely to retain. This makes for a more enjoyable learning process altogether.
Benefits to Companies
One of the biggest benefits of education software is its cost-effectiveness. The ability to share information with an infinite number of users without worrying about physical class size means there are no enrollment limits. It also gets rid of the costs for facilities management, accommodations, and materials like books and chalkboards.
Since educators aren’t spending as much energy moving from class to class and managing students in-person, educational apps can improve performance and prevent employee burnout.
In general, moving online saves time and money for educational companies when it comes to training and faculty management. The online platform lets educators train for new programs on their own time and revisit them at their leisure. Ideally, this leads to a better work environment with more flexibility for employees, and overall savings to the company or institution.
The Different Types of Education Apps
Educational apps can vary widely. From self-led apps for specific topics, to apps for children, to exam preparation, an understanding of what current education apps offer is helpful before starting development of a custom e-learning app.
- Self-led learning: Many apps today are used by adults to further their education. These range from language apps like Duolingo or Babbel to drawing apps like Sketchbook. Other learning apps offer a database with different resources for learning about specific topics, such as the TED app.
- Apps for kids: Some schools that moved students to distance learning in 2020 were able to employ learning apps and provide engaging, age-appropriate educational activities for school-aged children. For parents who want to help their child learn before entering school or supplement learning outside the classroom, there many apps to explore basics like the alphabet and colors, or learn more advanced topics like math and history.
- Exam apps: Students who want some practice in before important tests can find any number of training apps in the app store. There are practice tests available on apps for everything from the SAT to a driver’s license exam.
- Apps for teachers: Some apps help teachers do their job and manage their workload. There are apps that assist with creating a lesson plan, grading, and building charts for their lessons. At a more basic level, teachers can also use apps to plan their schedule for tests, assignments, and lectures.
Tips for Developing a Custom Education App
As the demand for educational apps grows, the requirements for building a relevant and engaging platform change with it. In order to do right by customers, educational app developers must understand how their app will address user needs and stand out from the crowd.
Like development for any app, deep market research must be done into the needs of a given target audience. Without proper research, there’s no way to create a useful final product.
A development team should create a persona of their typical user to determine many factors like effective copy, UX/UI design, and necessary functions that make their app value to the user. Only deep research into the their demographics and habits will give developers the right information to make these decisions.
One way to make a learning app stand out is to make it interactive and stimulating to its target users. If the target audience is school-aged children, a custom education app must be playful, colorful, and fun.
On the other hand, learning apps developed for adult learners or employees should be professional yet interesting and compelling. The app development team must consider the look and feel of design along with the functions and features.
With so many opportunities to capitalize on the growing online education trend, app developers need to be aware of key features to give their user the best possible experience.
Some of these essential features include:
- User profile
- Search bar with filters
- Link to social media
- Downloadable materials
- Project management
- Exams and quizzes
- Analytics to reference like reports, charts, growth
- Push notifications
- AI-sourced behavioral analysis modules
Ask any student who has done online or distance learning and you’ll hear that there’s nothing worse than an app that doesn’t clearly present information. At the end of the day, the content within a learning app is the most important feature. If the content is low-quality, users will give up on the app and institutions will turn elsewhere for their teaching needs.
Not only does quality content refer to the information itself, but also how it’s presented. A good UI designer will make sure content is easily consumable through the use of graphs, diagrams, images and videos – anything to break up big blocks of text and drive engagement.
A Market Ripe with Opportunity
The worldwide shift to a more virtual world only means an increase in the demand for custom education apps. Novel ideas for learning software have the opportunity to revolutionize how and what our future generations learn. As technology advances, these educational apps have the potential to become even more engaging and effective.
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