While technology is changing at a rapid pace across all industries, the pace of change in Education and EdTech seems to be accelerating even faster as a result of the requirement for more hybrid learning environments. Schools and universities need to keep up with this change or fall behind competitors who can provide more relevant learning environments and better serve their students.

To stay competitive in the education industry, school districts and universities must be able to adapt to new learning styles and curricula, advanced technologies and methods of teaching, and updated learning management systems and interfaces while being sensitive to the ever-evolving needs of their students and teachers.

In this article, we'll take a look at the different types of apps and software solutions available to the Education industry, the features these apps should have, and some projections for the future of this lucrative market.

Challenges Facing the Education Industry

While education is one of the largest markets in the world, it is also one of the most fragmented with thousands of schools stretched across every country, all with different needs and budgets. This fragmentation makes it necessary for schools, universities, and districts to choose the best technologies for their particular needs.

In light of developments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the education industry is facing a number of unique challenges:

- Working smarter, not harder: A teacher's job isn't to make children work hard; it's to make their work smarter. Educators need tools that provide them with interesting, bite-sized information that can be easily communicated to their students.

- Getting the most out of data: The Education Industry is in the midst of an analytics revolution. Teachers are using software to track student performance, measure student progress, and analyze student behavior. However, this flood of data can be difficult to understand, and it can be a challenge to communicate to other members of the team.

- Disruptive technology: Teachers and students are both using mobile and digital technology to learn and engage with one another. Teachers are turning to digital learning platforms, and students are turning to smartphones and tablets.

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Here’s how technology can be used to solve these challenges:

- Smart learning technologies: Smart learning technologies are helping teachers focus on what they do best—working with students and delivering lessons. These technologies can collect and analyze student data and provide teachers with relevant information and instructional resources to help them better communicate with their students.

- Visual analytics and tracking: Visual analytics is a new approach to presenting data that allows people to more easily make sense of complex data sets. Visual analytics can be used to create compelling, data-rich dashboards that allow someone to easily digest what the data suggests.

- More mobile technology: To better connect the learning methods of teachers and students, we need to find ways to combine the resources they use to learn and engage with one another. This means making digital learning platforms more mobile and accessible to students.

With these challenges and solutions in mind, customized applications are one of the best ways forward.

The Market for Education Apps Today

Believe it or not, Education is the third most popular category on the App Store, coming in just behind Games and Business, and on Google Play, e-learning is even higher in second place. With that being said, these categories make up roughly 9% of the total overall on both platforms.

Following another set of predictions by the Research and Markets data provider, the worldwide e-learning market is estimated to be worth $398 billion in 2026. Which is a pretty massive 300% boost from 2015’s $107 billion.

Types of EdTech Apps Being Built Today

As we can see from the data in the previous section, there's a substantial market for education apps, and there are millions of students, teachers, and parents who are eager to learn about a wide variety of topics. Products in this space can vary greatly, but we've included some of the most popular app types that you'll find being built today, below.

Learning Management Systems (LMS)

Learning Management Systems, or LMSs, are software systems designed to support classroom instruction. These systems are often used to track students' progress, to deliver lectures, and to deliver forms of assessment. LMSs can be used in the education industry to support a wide range of learning environments.

They are often used to support distance learning programs, including online degree programs, and many public schools now use LMSs to deliver online content. They can also be used to deliver in-person classroom materials, including lesson plans, homework assignments, and tests. LMSs are also used to support higher-ed programs, including college courses and graduate programs.

Some popular LMS systems include Blackboard, Canvas, Moodle, & Edmodo.

A screenshot of an exercise from Duolingo.

Language Learning Apps

A language learning app is a multi-faceted tool that helps users learn a new language. The app might include a variety of content, such as a library of audio lessons, a dictionary, a thesaurus, and a collection of writing prompts. The app might also include a set of tools to help users learn a new language, such as a word bank, a language coach, and a calendar of language-learning tasks. Finally, a language learning app might include a variety of ways to communicate with other people, such as a messaging service, a forum, and a chat room.

Some popular apps in this category include Babbel, Duolingo, and Memrise.

AR-based Education Apps

Augmented Reality (AR) is an emerging technology that enables digital information overlays to be superimposed on the real world. These overlays are often used for entertainment purposes, but AR's educational applications are quickly gaining traction.

AR-based educational apps are used to demonstrate factual information in a way that enriches the learning experience. They can be used to teach people how to use new technology or to teach them about real-world objects. For example, an AR-based educational app can be used to demonstrate how a muscle works or to provide insight into the geological composition of a location.

Some popular apps in this category include Experience Real History, Curiscope, and Merge EDU.

Online Educational Course Apps

An online educational course app is an app which provides a personalized platform for an online course. This app typically includes a video player, a chat function, a progress tracking system, and a resource library, all designed to improve the course experience for students and teachers.

Online educational course apps are typically used by students to learn about a particular subject, but they can also be used by educators to facilitate classroom discussions, or those that would just like to learn something new in their spare time.

Some popular apps in this category include Khan Academy, edX, and Google Classroom.

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Student Progress Tracking Apps

Student progress tracking apps enable teachers to log details about their students' performance in the classroom. They are used to track students' participation in classroom activities, to record test scores and grades, and to track students' progress on longer-term assignments. In some cases, a student progress tracking app is used in addition to a learning management system, while in other cases it is the only tool that students and teachers use to manage student grades and assignments.

These apps are available in a variety of forms. Some are web-based and can be accessed via a web browser, while others are installed directly on school computers or on mobile devices. Some student progress tracking apps include features for teachers to evaluate their students' performance on assignments, while others are used to collect data but offer no evaluation tools.

Some popular apps in this category include Top Hat, Goals on Track, and StickK.

Test and Exam Prep Apps

Though test prep apps have been around for quite a while, they have been enjoying a surge in popularity in the past few years. A test prep app is a software application that a student can use to study for a test or a professor can use to create a custom study guide. The app is commonly used as a platform for interactive study guides that include videos, questions, and answers.

They also provide detailed statistics about how well students are performing, which is particularly helpful when students are preparing for a large exam with a proctoring service.

Some popular apps in this category include Albert, SAT®, and Quizlet.

Career Preparation Apps

A career preparation app for students is a software product designed to help students prepare for a career. It might help them track their progress through school, make connections with future employers, or even provide them with recruitment opportunities.

Career preparation apps can be developed for a variety of different purposes. Some are designed to help students prepare for a specific job, such as a medical assistant. Others are designed to help students understand their interests and strengths, such as a personality test.

Some popular apps in this category include CareerExplorer, UpperCampus, and VJS Junior.

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Features That Educational Apps Should Have

When it comes to building educational apps, there are some things you should keep in mind.

High personalization - When you're building an educational app, it's important that whatever you create provides students with a personalized learning experience that allows each student to learn at his or her own pace and schedule.

Easy-to-use interfaces - All of the information should be easy to navigate and should be presented in a way that's easy to absorb.

A wide range of content - The app should provide different levels of learning and testing so that students can easily track their progress.

Interactive lessons - If you expect students to use your app, you need to make sure that your content includes a high level of interactivity (such as audio, video, and games) that exceeds that of a typical textbook. Content that is gamified to encourage ongoing engagement is key to keeping students engaged.

Add social elements - Social elements enable students to connect with one another even when studying in a remote environment. Flexible and customizable learning plans that can be shared with friends also encourages accountability and ensures that they'll continue to use your app.

A centralized dashboard for monitoring - Adding the option for teachers and parents to monitor student progress opens up communication and keeps everyone on the same page.

An emphasis on safety and privacy - When you're creating applications for minors, it's especially important to place an emphasis on safety and privacy. Applications and platforms developed for children have specific legal requirements in place to protect minors, so it's important to educate yourself about these rules prior to proceeding.

Build Education Software Solutions with Crowdbotics

Crowdbotics provides end-to-end software development services to clients located around the world. Our team of expert software engineers, designers, and project managers have helped thousands of clients build and launch their products, and we have an abundance of expertise working specifically with enterprise clients.  

Crowdbotics is unique among technology companies in the industry because we offer a full-service approach to development. Instead of requiring clients to hire separate contractors for design, development, and project management, Crowdbotics allows clients to hire a single team that understands their business goals and can work together throughout the product build. Our community of experts has the expertise to work with all phases of development and can provide specialized assistance to clients in the education industry. If you'd like to learn more about how we can help you with your project, get in touch with us today for a detailed estimate!