Features to Include in an Educational App

Educational technology (EdTech) has experienced an unprecedented rise in popularity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Between social distancing regulations and many school districts limiting their lessons to virtual classrooms, the benefits of contactless educational applications and devices are taking center stage, giving rise to a new era of e-Learning for children of all ages.

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Teachers are employing a more “hands-off” approach, which is enabling students to become more self-sufficient and responsible for their own education. As these trends continue to skyrocket, the value in creating innovative EdTech apps for kids has reached an all time peak. However, designing an application that students will find useful and informative is not a simple task. The tools younger students respond to might be vastly different than those older students need to further their education.

In this post, we’ll explore some of the best EdTech apps for kids and the must-have features to include in an education app per target age group so it provides the most comprehensive learning tools and services.

Top EdTech Apps for Young Kids

It’s never too early to begin instilling the importance of education in children. And what better time than now, when many schools and VPK centers have yet to reopen for traditional in-person learning, to help children cultivate a love for learning?

With many parents still working remotely, younger children may become restless when having too much time on their hands without their parents or other children to play with. EdTech apps are the ideal solution on both an instructional and entertainment level.

One of the most popular EdTech apps for young children is ABCmouse.com. Created in 2010, the online learning program has quickly become a favorite for parents and kids alike. Available as a web and mobile app, ABCmouse.com offers a range of digital learning exercises that progress along a curriculum track, similar to how lesson plans are taught in school. Kids have access to various educational and interactive materials, and parents can track their progress as well.

ABCmouse.com is also versatile in the sense that it offers specialized learning tools for children in elementary and middle school. The program is split into two curriculums: one for children ages 2-8 and the other for children ages 8-13 (known as the Adventure Academy). However, younger students who are progressing faster may be enrolled in the most advanced program.

While the app does charge a $9.95 monthly subscription fee, the company encourages parents and kids to try it free for one month. Subscriptions can also be purchased in full for the full year.

Top EdTech Apps for High Schoolers

Older students who already have the fundamental tools of learning down pat are most likely to benefit from EdTech apps that offer continued learning or skill-building solutions. One such app is Duolingo.

Duolingo is a free language learning app available for iOS and Android devices, although an ad-free paid version is also available. The app helps users quickly learn a new language through a variety of audio and written exercises. It also boasts a testing option for high school students that, if passed, can give them university class credits.

There are over 30 different languages to choose from, so students can challenge themselves to master multiple languages or concentrate on a single language to establish fluency. While there are several benefits for students, the app is great for adults as well.

Features to Include in an Educational App

The best EdTech apps for kids offer a wide range of learning solutions that keep them interested in perfecting skills they already have or curious to discover new ones. Because there are so many different types of EdTech applications, it’s important for educational companies that are thinking about designing a digital learning resource to focus on a specific target audience (in this case student age group), and hone in on what kids in that age range are both interested in or could benefit from.

Since kids these days are highly skilled at using robust applications, the complexity of the apps themselves should be approached not so much from a UI/UX standpoint but from a learning perspective. For an EdTech app to really succeed and stand out from all the rest, it needs to present a subject or lesson module in an innovative, clear, and simple manner that students can grasp, recognize any areas the student may be having trouble with, and adjust the course progression to accommodate the student’s needs.

Educational apps are designed to make the learning process easier, not harder. One of the ways in which EdTech companies are able to accomplish this goal is by applying gamification properties into their apps. Gamification is an innovative approach to learning that incorporates game-play elements into other features and services offered by an app to facilitate and improve user interaction. Because most children learn best when they are engaged and entertained, gamification is an essential component of EdTech apps and a must-have feature if you want to create a successful learning application for children that captures and retains their interest.

Aside from the features mentioned above, there are several other key elements that should be incorporated into an educational application. In order to go viral, EdTech apps for kids should:

  • Cater to the needs of the target age group
  • Offer students the ability to progress at their own pace
  • Be interactive
  • Make learning easy and fun
  • Inspire students to challenge themselves
  • Avoid repetitive learning plans

However, building EdTech apps that are successful requires a lot more than just choosing optimal features. The process takes time, careful planning, and skill. Therefore, anyone with an idea for an educational application should consider consulting with an experienced team of app developers to ensure their concepts are viable.