There are approximately 80,000 apps geared towards education, but not many actually help improve learning.
Every educational mobile application boasts to teach a subject a student may be falling behind in. There are some that do actually help people in learning the subject to a certain extent, while most others are just half hearted attempts by developers to earn money of off a niche.
There are countless educational apps for every subject that are intended to help students get a better grasp over a subject, say like mathematics, physics, chemistry, English etc.
There are even apps that help differently-abled (we don’t like the word disabled!) children and adults to bridge their learning gaps and to help them function better in their daily lives. Apps like Talkitt, Be My Eyes and Avaz have cleverly leveraged technology to help children, and adults alike, with ADHD, speech disorder, autism and blindness.
Currently, educational apps rank 3rd among the most frequently downloaded category of apps in September 2016, at 8.82%.
No matter the kind of educational app – be it a math app, a physics teaching app or an app that helps the most special among us – its success lies in its ability to provide value in the most user friendly and efficient manner to its users.
5 Elements of a Successful Educational App
So, what exactly does an educational app need to have for it to be successful?
User Friendly UI
For any app to be successful, the UI needs to be super user friendly. Where, at one glance even the least technologically inclined among us can figure out the purpose and function of every feature.
Customizable Profile and Easy Log-in
Just like every app out there today, the educational app needs to have an easy log-in function. Some good educational apps even provide a dashboard/profile feature which lets the user customize and save their preferences and progress in the learning.
Architecturally Strong Database
This is a critical element for an educational app. The learning information/material is uploaded onto a database. Students access the material gradually as they progress in their learning.
The database needs to be architecturally strong to facilitate quick and uninterrupted access to the data. Otherwise, the app would face frequent hang-ups and crashes, seriously dampening the user’s experience.
Collaboration and teachers interaction
Like in the classroom, the learning experience is strengthened when there’s collaboration among the students. For an educational app to be successful, it needs to provide that virtual environment, where students can not only interact with other students but with their teachers/tutors as well.
Incorporating a ‘chat now’ option, into the app, with other users and teachers is the right way to go for promoting collaboration and interaction.
The best educational apps provide users the ability to create their own topics/discussions among their peers and get direct one-on-one support from their teachers. They need the freedom and ease to be able to inquire about the aspects of the subject that’s troubling them, whenever they want to.
Who Might be Looking for an Educational App – like, say, an English Learning App?
Teachers teaching English-as-a-foreign language can also benefit from such an app, only if it has the features mentioned above. Otherwise, an educational app without the ability to collaborate among students, communicate and chat with the teachers and mentors, would soon find its way into the app graveyard.
Apart from teachers, there’s another audience that might benefit from such an English learning app.
In 2015, the immigrant population reached a record level in the United States of America with 42.1 million foreign born people. This translates to roughly 13.3% of the entire US population.
In a single year, from 2014 to 2015, the US accepted 1.7 million foreign immigrants, with India being the leading country of origin; closely followed by China, Mexico, Canada and the Philippines.
What did all these foreign immigrants have in common (apart from Canada)? English was not their first language.
But, each of these immigrants probably had access to a smart phone. And, just like that, because of an English learning app they had the ability to overcome their language barrier quickly and efficiently.
That’s the true power of a well-developed, educational app that’s created to meet the needs of the users and not just as a tool to make some money.
In short, well developed educational mobile apps built with special attention to creating features that would actually promote learning can help not just the students, but make it easier for teachers and teaching institutions to teach. The experienced developers can build out educational mobile apps that make teachers and learners life easier.