The 6 features you must include into your EdTech app
EdTech, a growing industry in recent years, is finally having its moment. The 2020 crisis is casting a looming shadow of uncertainty over the education industry. Schools worldwide have been scrambling to adapt to remote or hybrid learning, which has increased demand for educational apps.
Whether you’re building the next big EdTech app or improving your current learning app, you need to ensure that your app is a complete solution. The only way to guarantee that your EdTech app stays competitive is by including a robust assortment of features that improve your app’s usefulness and functionality. Not sure where to start? Here’s a breakdown of the core features to include in your education app development process.
1. Assignment and assessment
An EdTech app should support the core attributes of classroom management. Educators should have the ability to assign students work and assess that work from within your EdTech app. It is similar to project management software in that it facilitates collaboration between educators and students. Here are some things that your EdTech app should be able to accomplish:
- Task assignment: Teachers will need to assign tasks to students and keep track of assignments themselves. A task management system with to-do list integrations would work well.
- Progress tracking: Recording whether a student has completed an assignment or reached an academic milestone is crucial for all parties involved. Both students and teachers should be able to mark their progress and access those records when necessary.
- File sharing: Your app should support both uploads and downloads, as students and teachers will need to do both. A cloud-based system would also work for both online and offline viewing.
- Accessible grading reports: Students and parents will likely want to keep track of grades. Your app will need flexible and accessible data storage options and a reporting feature.
It can be challenging to optimize your EdTech app to handle all these features. However, it’s possible to use the ever-popular Google Classroom as a system to emulate. Learning from the competition is one of the best ways to stay competitive.
2. Group mode for working in groups and pairs
One of the biggest challenges that schools have faced during the pandemic is grappling with a general lack of funding. Those schools that don’t receive significant funding are struggling to meet the growing need for digital devices.
An app that maximizes group work can help to ease the burden for these schools. Instead of purchasing devices for each student, they can often halve or even reduce by a third the number of devices they have to buy.
Your app should have a feature that supports group work. For example, students working in a group from a single device should be able to input several different answers to a question. You can achieve this by enabling your app to record answers for different users at once.
Moreover, your app should support multiple profiles being logged in simultaneously. On devices that support shared audio, your EdTech app should be optimized to deliver high-quality audio. Additionally, an auto-save feature would make handoff more efficient when a device is shared between multiple students.
3. Seamless integration with learning management system (LMS) and school information system (SIS)
An EdTech app is typically one part of a tech stack that supports an entire school system. Technology in education isn’t a new concept; schools have been utilizing both learning management systems (LMS) and school information systems (SIS). Therefore, during the development period, educational apps should emphasize integration with any current systems schools are using.
Blackboard and Moodle are among the most popular LMS options, so be sure that your app will work with them seamlessly. Educational tools should be tools, not hindrances. Schools are far from being high-tech companies; they don’t have the resources to troubleshoot issues constantly.
Therefore, in addition to seamless integration with the top LMS and SIS options, your app should receive consistent updates to improve UX and keep track of the OS updates of major systems.
4. Communication features
Education requires collaboration; there’s no way around it. Your EdTech app needs to support collaboration in many ways. Prioritizing communication features will ensure that your app remains competitive and functional. As an added benefit, students get to work on their soft skills during the learning process. Here are some key communication features to include in your app:
- Video or audio conferencing: This is an especially helpful tool for hybrid learning. Be sure to include an audio-only feature for those devices that don’t support video conferencing.
- Instant messaging: Much like professionals need to send off a quick email, students may need to ask their teachers a quick question. Instant messaging makes teachers more accessible to their students, and it can save time.
- Forum boards: Forum boards give both teachers and students a place to communicate that they can review later. Forum boards have numerous uses, whether it’s the location of a guided discussion or simply a place to check in with one another. Include organizational features such as the ability to run multiple forums, assign moderators, and manage the guest list.
5. Subscriptions for the analytical toolset for coaches (will help to monetize your app)
It can be challenging to monetize an EdTech app. Many monetization options are available, whether it’s a pay-per-user subscription model or an annual subscription or download fee. However, before you can even consider monetizing your EdTech app, you’ll need to incentivize users to spend money on it.
One of the most effective ways to do this is by putting up a paywall for certain features. Allow educators who develop premium courses to customize and download reports on user interactions. This will target freelancers, tutors, and independent instructors who are looking to improve engagement, UX, and attract more customers.
6. AI and AR in education apps
Student engagement is one of the key indicators of high performance on standardized tests. Holding students’ attention can be challenging even during in-person learning. Trying to keep students engaged during virtual learning is nearly impossible.
Augmented reality makes content entertaining and educational. It’s a surefire way to keep students engaged during the learning process, even if their attention span is short or they’re facing subjects with traditionally lower engagement rates. Students might point their camera at a rock, and a visual will pop up with information regarding the rock’s formation and the minerals present through a combination of AI and AR. They might even be able to watch a plant’s development unfold right before their eyes.
AI alone is a great tool for any education app, especially when it comes to remote learning. Teachers can create a knowledge base that’s integrated with your in-app messaging platform. Students and parents can send questions via the messaging app, and AI will provide relevant answers or connect them with the teacher directly. Not only will this save teachers time, but AI can also streamline communication between educators and students.
The education industry is facing a complete transformation forced by the remote trend. Taking advantage of the high demand for EdTech apps can be a lucrative venture, but it means ensuring that your app is the most feature-rich option available. Luckily, this guide is a great starting point. Moreover, it requires EdTech app developers to keep up with the rapidly evolving trends in EdTech. Keep an eye on our blog and you’ll find helpful information regarding app updates, emerging trends, and more.