If you retrospect your education journey throughout the years, can you imagine yourself completing your homework without the use of the internet?
Did Google come handy to you as well? And now with the swift prevailing of technology across the horizons, it has now become a dominant factor in our daily lives.
Be it connecting to someone across the globe or conveying your simplest idea to millions of people, the internet has made a breakthrough making it impossible for the people to survive without it.
It’s the era of modern classrooms especially after the hit by the pandemic. ’Educomp’ - which was earlier available in only a few of our school classrooms has now taken the form of an Edtech app.
EdTech is basically a product of education and technology joined together. It has hit a significant benchmark in the last few years and with the technological advances available these days, it’s possible to spread education in every nook and corner of the world.
Now let’s talk figures:
According to Gallup, “ nearly 90% of the students (from third to twelfth grade) in the U.S. use digital learning tools at school, few days per week”. - These are some impressive figures right? But then this also brings us to one question, what do the teachers feel about this shift in learning? To answer this question- “53% of the teachers feel that teaching is made easier with increased access to personal computers - especially after schools closing due to pandemic”.
And if these figures aren’t just enough then here’s one more fact for you - “In 2019, edTech investment reached $1.66 billion and in the first six months of 2020, U.S. edtech companies raised a whopping $803 million”.
All of this might seem very intriguing at the moment but nothing big comes easy. It’s one thing to build an app but to actually establish its ground and make it renowned worldwide is altogether a different concept.
While starting from scratch, a lot of overwhelming questions might cross one’s mind. The most supreme question being - How to turn the idea into reality?
How to turn the idea into reality?
Every complex process requires step by step planning of the entire creation in order to make it successful.
Here are the 4 foundational stones of turning your educational startup into reality:
1)Identify the client and the user: There are various users for an educational app. Although the app is built for students to learn, their parents are the ones actually buying it for them.
Similarly the school and the teachers decide whether your app is worth investing or not. So it's your responsibility to understand the needs of all the stakeholders involved.
2)Understand the user’s requirements: Building the app based on your learnings and experiences is not enough. To make a successful user friendly application you need to conduct proper market research, and this involves conducting personal interviews with the clients and users.
To get a better understanding of their personas, you would need to recognize their problems and issues.
3)Create an MVP: Sometimes things sound better in your head than in real-life. Your idea might seem exciting to you on paper or in your imagination but putting it to a real-life test will determine its grip in the market.
A minimum viable product or MVP seems like the ideal solution to this problem. Creating a prototype or a mockup for a limited target audience would help you from the trouble of spending too much or money on a defective project.
4)Select a software development company: Choosing the right software company for outsourcing your product is one of the most crucial steps in the whole process.
The mobile app development agency might make or break your idea. The whole process includes, defining, prioritizing and researching your objectives and also the need of the hour. You might need to consult the experts in order to ensure the success of your idea.
None of the above mentioned foundational stones can be missed if you want a fully functional application.
Points to keep in mind for EdTech startups
Just like any other big business, these startups have certain essential points that you need to keep in mind before getting too excited for your new venture.
Not all tools can be afforded by schools: Your app isn’t the only option available in the market. With the ongoing cutthroat market, your product needs to stand out. And therefore, you need to be careful of what benefits you bring to the table.
The pricing of the app should also be kept reasonable in order to make it easily accessible. In my personal opinion, certain basic features should also be kept free to urge the target audience to buy the whole subscription.
Data security must be a priority: Safety and security are the two most high demanded features in the market when it comes to technology and its usage. Clients and users should be assured that their data security is of the utmost importance.
Profit is a lot more than just funding: Instead of going around the market looking for investors to fund your idea, you need to ensure that you have a solid startup business plan and you have considered all the clientele needs, monetisation and marketing options.
Your potential and your product’s promise for the returns will attract the investors itself without you running behind them.
Educator friendly: Students are quick learners and are habitual of adapting to new technological advances on a daily basis. The problem arises with teachers as they are used to their traditional blackboard and chalk learning techniques.
It's the hardest to pitch your idea to an educator. In order to avoid this obstacle, you need to ensure that your product is teacher friendly. ‘Khan Academy’ is an example of one such NPO organization that is teacher-friendly and has tutorials on the easy accessibility of the app.
‘Although the above mentioned points seem a bit obvious, putting them to life while creating your product is a real task.‘
Features that will your EdTech app stand out
The set of features that you use for your application distinguishes it from the other market products. These features depends on the needs of the target audience and should be considered while developing your app:
In-class and at Home Features
The application should be user-friendly and intuitive to ensure that the students and parents can use it even without the supervision of a teacher.
Organized UI and UX design (Example - Science 360 is known for its interactive graphics and designs ) is mandatory in order to transform the educational journey of the students.
In class and at home study options should be easily accessible to spread education in every nook and corner.
Interactive and Communicative Features
Your app should have an open space for digital communication and interactive features. A student should be able to learn how to develop respect for each other and what are the limitations when it comes to digital learning.
Direct line for communicating with classmates and educators through text or audio or video calls provides them with an all in one platform. Kahoot is a game based educational app having intuitive features, making the platform exciting for the users.
Group Mode Options
This option will enable two or more students to be able to learn together or from one another without actually having to reach each other’s places. They can have a distance of continents between them and still be able to study simultaneously with one another.
Assignment and Assessment Features
Giving new tasks for teachers and students, marking their progress, evaluating their results and tracking their growth are some fun features that will help attract the target audiences. One example of this is ‘Coursera’ - it allows students to access free features until they wanna get to the advanced level.
You can also give them daily assignments or add a feature of habit tracker to distinct it from the rest.
Easy accessibility means that your user is able to learn through the app inside or outside the classroom as well. Besides the school provided devices, students should be able to log in with their credentials through their own personal laptops or computers.
This will help them to prepare for their finals or complete their homework and assignments without having any excuse for their non-submission.