With the increasing trend and demand for online education caused by Covid-19, many startups and educational institutions are coming up with edTech solutions to obtain market share. However, not all of them earn their original investment back. The primary reason behind this being that some companies are not creating an edTech solution with great value. It is essential that an edTech solution provides meaningful educational material.
In this article, we'll discuss the steps and considerations for creating an edTech solution. But first, let's understand the current edTech market scenario.
According to a Market Brief by EdWeek, nearly 15% of schools in the USA will have a set of VR classroom kits by the end of 2021.
A recent report by Dealroom and London & Partners states that with $630 million investment in London-based edTech companies, London holds the top position for edTech investment in Europe.
Gadgets are becoming more sensible, with parents and teachers adopting new approaches to innovation in education technology. This headway in educational technology innovation has boosted the demand and interest in useful edTech mobile and web applications.
Things to know before you create your EdTech Solution
What is EdTech?
EdTech or Education Technology is an area of technology that is focused mainly on providing software solutions for the education industry. The aim of this technology is to improve the accessibility of education and to emphasize the streamlining of the learning process.
EdTech companies focus on building solutions that provide the students with a futuristic and immersive learning experience. In 2021, the edTech industry will consist of various educational tools powered by several advanced technologies such as extended reality and IoT.
Impact of Covid-19 on EdTech
The Covid-19 outbreak has significantly disrupted the global economic scenario. Some sectors saw a negative impact, whereas others realized a massive increase in market capital and customer demand. However, the education technology industry was positively affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with a rise of 15% in the year 2020 alone.
The pandemic has made us realize the applicability of the technology in the education sector. EdTech experts believe that the increased accessibility of education has unveiled new learning opportunities for students worldwide. The increased availability has also democratized education for those students who can not afford hefty tuition fees to get a world-class education.
Coursera saw a rise in student enrollment with 10.3 million new registrations in the first thirty days of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is a 644% rise in comparison to the same period the previous year.
As the world has seen the goodness of implementing technology in the education process, they'll continue to promote edTech, and we'll see more and more students benefiting from edTech solutions.
"Learning can take place anytime, anywhere."
Factors to consider before developing your EdTech Solution
However, building software tools and applications for teaching is a very troublesome job. There isn't any straightforward approach with which you can define your edTech platform architecture. Therefore you should know the following factors that are related to edTech in 2021.
Schools cannot afford many EdTech tools
Due to the rise in edTech solutions demand, there is a cut-throat rivalry between edTech businesses. Hence, it is essential for you to be sure about the edTech solution benefits that you bring to the table. High-quality educational content is the heart of every edTech solution, but what makes a solution more worthwhile investing into, is how it delivers the content.
Suppose your edTech solution is focused on providing educational institutes with the ability to streamline their processes. In that case, you should make sure that your solution helps the institutions in a manner that they won't then need to make significant investment in other technology solutions that solve related problems. In simpler terms, your edTech solution should provide unprecedented value for the institution's money.
Data security should be your priority
With guidelines such as GDPR being in place, it has become essential for the technology companies to protect their user data. The data security concerns in the EdTech sector become even more severe when implementing technology at the institutional level. Hence, EdTech companies need to provide customers with very secure and robust EdTech solutions.
Educators are the worst students
It is evident that young minds are very adaptive to adjust and embrace the innovations and disruptions that they may encounter. Therefore the user experience isn't as concerning for students. On the other hand, the educators are likely to have difficulty in adapting to changes and innovative user experiences. Most educators are used to conventional methods of teaching. They would prefer using blackboards, textbooks, and pencils over other methods. Hence, your edTech solution should be designed to deliver an easy to comprehend and easy to use user experience for educators in particular.
Bringing technology has been considered taboo in classrooms
Conventional teaching methods often don't appreciate the use of smartphones or computing devices in the classroom. Students can misuse the devices to discover answers to tests, and most of the time, they don't even consider it as cheating.
Bringing gadgets to the classrooms can result in an issue for the educators who won't be able to access the student's work impartially. Moreover, it is a precarious pattern that can result in calamitous ramifications in general. Students as a whole will trust each snippet of data found online as totally valid and reliable.
Have an In-house Educator in your team
EdTech solutions are all about educational material, and not many can help you understand the best methods to classify and streamline the content within your edTech solution. Having an academic instructor will help you design an edTech solution that benefits the educational community.
Steps to a Successful MVP
It is always advisable to develop an MVP for an edTech app before launching a full-fledged app. An MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is the preferable approach to software development for agile methodologies.
- Identify the learner or student: There are several types of edTech apps that you can develop. Some are focused on the students, while others cater to the educators (teachers or institutes). Before you begin with the development, you should know the target user-base, and based on that, you will be able to design your app infrastructure and other elements.
- Know the user's requirements: Despite your years of classroom experience as a learner, you probably still can't fully comprehend what most educators and students need. Thus, conducting research for your edTech solution is an unquestionable requirement for the development process. You can either take help from a research agency or conduct your own research, by asking your potential customers about the current issues and challenges that they face with conventional education systems. Also, you must create the customer personas, as this will help you with the UAT (User Acceptance Testing).
- Create an MVP: Developing an MVP is the best way to test your app idea, which might look extraordinary on your psyche or on paper. However, you won’t really know how wonderful your concept is until it is made available to the public. The MVP will be a edTech app that solves the core problems that you propose to solve, however it may not be refined. The MVP is focused on testing the validity of your business assumptions, rather than producing an immaculate looking app. The MVP will help you understand if your app idea is in accordance with market research and customer needs. You'll always find new learnings when creating an MVP. An MVP is the low-cost solution to ensure that you are spending on the right app idea.
What are the essential features of an EdTech platform?
A robust and supportive database
As all the educational content (video and text study materials, course details, user data, lecture details, or important announcements) will be uploaded to the database, you should have an architecturally powerful and cutting-edge database that is always available to accept access requests.
Not every learner will have a 4G or 5G internet connection; hence the database shouldn't hang even on low bandwidths. This will allow students to access educational content seamlessly.
Be it any software solution; onboarding the customer into the database is always a process that requires significant brainstorming. Appropriate onboarding is essential due to regulatory requirements and the personalization of the edTech solution.
Onboarding includes the users being able to create their profile with a few steps by either feeding the system with information or by using social media logins. The users should also have a dedicated dashboard, where they can save their personal preferences.
Easy to comprehend user interface
Your edTech solution should provide the users with an intuitive user interface (UI) that is easy to understand and navigate. UI is one of the elements that help your app stand out in the competitive education technology market. Remember, you don't have to sail on the same boat as your competitors. So, try to create a more superior UI than your edTech solution competitors.
Bringing conventional classroom educational content online isn't easy. It takes a lot of brainstorming and feedback from users to optimize educational content during education app development. The content should be presented in an easy to understand manner.
- Your content should be worth reading.
- The content should be created specifically for your target audience.
- The mobile-friendliness is essential for edTech solutions targeting students.
Interactive sessions enabled with video lectures
Your edTech solution can provide the learners with recorded video lectures that are coupled with separate doubt sessions. Also, your live video lectures can have the facility where students can make queries during the lectures.
After each interactive session, your edTech solution can ask the students to leave their feedback. All of these will boost the user experience and satisfaction with your curriculum. On top of that, you'll have valuable insights into what needs to be changed on your edTech platform.
Practice sets and mock tests
The educators should be able to upload test papers on the edTech app. The practice sets can be formed using the questions the educators have uploaded in the database. However, to beat your competition, you can allow students to personalize the practice sets according to the difficulty levels.
This feature is a must-have for self-learning apps. Sometimes, the learners lose their pace, and at this stage, your app can notify them with intuitive motivational messages, which may trigger them to start learning again.
For school information systems and other edTech solution types, this feature can alert students about scheduled lectures or tests.
Advanced features that are worth incorporating into your edTech solution
Personalization using AI and ML
Not all the students have the same learning patterns and grasping power, and thus, it is better to provide them with personalized learning materials. Instead of keeping your edTech curriculum in a cookie-cutter format, you can incorporate AI and ML technologies to customize educational material without putting in much effort.
Immersive learning using extended reality
Extended reality technology, such as AR and VR, has already started transforming conventional teaching methods. For instance, history classes are no longer limited to the classroom boundaries; AR/VR technology allows students to immerse themselves in the historic environment.
VR simulators can even enable medical students to practice complex surgeries. The industrial units can conduct virtual safety training exercises for hazardous environments.
A few years ago, gamification was considered to be irrelevant for educational apps. With the increased adoption of educational technology, edTech solution providers have started to incorporate gamification into their edTech apps to increase student interest in learning.
Challenges that the students face while playing educational games trigger competitiveness in them. Gamified visuals, reward systems, earning points, and social collaboration are proven to increase student engagement and productivity.
It will help if you build your edTech solution using rich asset libraries, which include stock images, videos, vector graphics, animated GIFs, etc. It will save you a lot of time that you would otherwise be required to spend if you created them manually.
Whether you are an edTech startup or educational institution looking to digitize your operations with the help of technology, now is the ideal time to invest in education technology.
Developing an edTech solution isn't very complicated, but there are things that you should consider before you even start creating one. The recommendations and features described in this article will help you plan better for your next educational technology project.
Nimble AppGenie is a leading educational technology development company. We've successfully delivered numerous edTech mobile and web applications that are excelling in the market.
You can reach out to us to get a quote for your edTech app development - Contact Us Now.
Madhukar is a marketing communication specialist at Nimble AppGenie. A writer by day and reader by night, he specializes in technical blogging. Throughout the time, he has been helping businesses by writing valuable business guides and articles.
Whereas, Nimble AppGenie is an expert in developing solutions for Healthcare, FinTech and EdTech. Nimble AppGenie is helping small-large scale enterprises by providing innovative solutions that excel in the market.