No single thing has been spared from the wonder called technology. Our everyday lives are entwined with tech, without a doubt. The rapid technological advancement and the impact of the pandemic have brought a major revolution to the education sector. And this blend of technology and education is popularly known as Edtech. However, it is not a new concept. eLearning has been around long enough, but it was never considered primary.
Way before the pandemic happened, online learning platforms existed. People of all age groups use websites to educate themselves with various courses and degrees. With the pandemic hitting our lives, the use of Edtech apps took a major turn. Moreover, Edtech has become a major part of student’s lives now.
This blog presents a complete guide on what Edtech is and how you can build educational websites.
What is EdTech?
EdTech is short for educational technology. It refers to the app and websites where online learning or e-learning is made possible. The type of services and the target audience define what kind of Edtech app it is. For example, there are different educational apps available for teachers and learners.
Majorly, Edtech may serve as a platform for tutors and students to connect, more like a classroom. Or it is a single platform offering certifications & degrees. It can be both free and paid courses.
The course includes lectures through video conferencing and visual recordings. Along with that, course materials are availed to the students, like images, audio, animated visuals, and recorded sessions.
There are no limitations to the fields of education one can access. Additionally, the geographical barrier is never an issue here. Teachers and tutors from across the globe can help teach and educate students and working professionals.
Overview of the EdTech Market
According to a report, due to the growing popularity of online education, the EdTech market is estimated to be worth $ 288.4 Bn by the year 2031. On the other hand, the educational infrastructure is not sufficient to serve the growing population. But Edtech has found its way through all this, making education possible through one’s own devices.
Further, the Edtech industry contributes over 80% of global sales in the education industry. Before 2020, Edtech was limited to education. And now, it has widened the scope for everyone toward effective learning. The majority of educational institutes are inclined to utilize e-learning for the advancement of individual skills. This is the perfect time for you to build an Edtech app.
Types of EdTech apps
Virtual classrooms are online learning platforms similar to a classroom except for the part that it is online. Here, the teachers and the students can interact with each other. Share course materials, work together in groups, and more. More importantly, the study sessions are done through video conferencing.
To make the virtual classroom experience more interactive, you can add features like in-call chat, quizzes, screen sharing, media, etc. Virtual classrooms have made online learning fun and efficient at the same time.
Apprenticeship refers to certificate training courses. These courses are for professionals to scale up their skills. For instance, some of the popular Edtech platforms are Coursera, EdX, and LinkedIn. These Edtech platforms help vastly with independent learning for students and budding professionals.
Kids’ educational apps
Every household currently aims to teach their kids the basics early on. They widely use educational apps. In fact, such Edtech products carry simplified content. And are more focused on visual learning to align the children’s grasping power.
The content mostly includes plenty of colors, rhymes, and games. The age group of kids is between 0-12 years for inducing interest in kids’ education.
Online learning platforms offer courses apart from schools and universities. Also, they offer courses and certifications for everyone to upgrade their knowledge and skills in the selected area. The eLearning platforms are mostly web-based applications but cross-platform too. Moreover, you can access the course material from anywhere and at any time.
Student information system
Firstly, a student information system, also called SIS, is used by educational institutes. Secondly, It helps in tracking their academic course, assessments, grades, schedules, and more. Further, all of the student’s records are in one place. And they can keep track of their performance and progress as well.
Exam prep EdTech apps
Firstly, the eLearning solutions do not end with the learning materials and the accessibility to learn from anywhere and at any time. The Edtech development focuses on enhancing the learning experience as a whole. The exam prep apps provide text, audio, and video study materials and also offer practice tests. The app provides real-time feedback on one’s attempts.
Language learning apps
Learning a new language has been made easy with Edtech mobile apps. Mostly, if we want to learn a new language, we look for an app. Edtech development aids in allowing a platform for learning languages.
Tutors and language experts share their language proficiencies with tutoring lessons. There are computer-based eLearning educational apps for learning a new language. For example, one such popular language-learning app is Duolingo.
Must-have features in an EdTech App
Effective communication features
Indeed, communication is the key element in your Edtech app. Accordingly, without proper communication, the whole purpose of your online learning platform goes down in vain. However, the communication attributes will depend on the type of Edtech app.
The following are some communication features you must add to your Edtech apps.
Video & audio conferencing
Video conferencing is conducting lectures through a video call. For instance, we all have used the Zoom app, and video conferencing is exactly that. It helps build a sense of authenticity. In fact, the visual connection keeps the interaction going between the tutors and the teachers. Moreover, the audio-only feature is necessary for your online learning platform.
The instant chat option helps in resolving any queries and doubts the students may have. It allows the tutor and the students to connect easily and in no time.
Assignments are a major part of every Edtech app. For every course, there will be multiple assignments. Hence, you need to ensure that your Edtech app allows the teachers to assign the work easily. And the students should be able to make easy submissions. Moreover, all of this should occur in one place with a well-organized interface.
Tasks and assignments are a major part of any course. And to keep track of the progress, the data should be well-managed with a task management system.
Every student gets access to the course materials. There’s a need for quick and easy file sharing without breaking a sweat. Above all, it should be able to support all kinds of media formats like PDFs, DOCX, JPEG, etc.
Gamification is one of the best options for improving the overall app UX of eLearning solutions. The gamifying elements help create the learning part interactive and interesting.
The following are some of the gamifying elements majorly used,
- performance charts
Educational apps need to be intuitive with a smooth UX. The interface of your Edtech app shouldn’t be hard to look at. Keep the design user-first. Edtech is an eLearning solution, and it shouldn’t be too complex. Make sure the small tasks in the app are easy & quick to complete.
Most of your users will be focused on upskilling themselves to accelerate their career success. They prefer courses where they can access the video and audio content on their own time. What you need to do is avail the lecture session, notes, and the rest of the materials at any time.
Steps for creating an EdTech App
The following are the steps for educational app development for EdTech companies.
1. Ideation & discovery stage
The first stage of the Edtech development process is validating the ideas and identify the niche. When you identify your business niche, then you can position your product in the market. This is the discovery phase of your design process. It allows you to analyze your Edtech startup idea. You can identify and test the ideas based on the data early on. And avoid costly development mistakes later on.
2. Market Research
Now, the second step involves testing the market feasibility of your Edtech idea with in-depth market research. Here’s a breakdown of the market research you need to perform mentioned below:
- Direct competitors: know your competitors and their products, and analyze how you can be different from them.
- Target audience: It is crucial for every digital product to know its audience. Analyze the behavior, needs, and problems your product can solve for them. You need to identify the user persona based on your product type for a better UX.
3. Define key functionality
Now, your idea has been verified. It’s time for you to define the functionalities. Whether you opt for an app builder platform, an in-house team, or hire an Edtech development company. You will need to be sure of what functionalities you aim to deliver.
The core functionalities you need to include are:
In Edtech, the whole purpose of your app revolves around communication. Especially, the features like forum boards, audio & video conferencing, chat tools, and more help teachers and students connect.
For school and university, your Edtech must include easy features for sharing course materials in various file formats and assigning tasks, work, and submissions.
Integrating SIS and LMS
SIS is a school information system where all the student data and stats are recorded for progress tracking. At the same time, LMS is the learning management system for hosting and managing eLearning. The Edtech you develop must be able to easily integrate with various LMS and SIS for schools and universities.
Your Edtech will store important users’ data, like their personal and payment details. The users need to trust your Edtech app with their details. You must include two-factor authentication, enhanced network security, and data storage encryption.
4. MVP development
To validate your idea and test the product for real-time feedback, you must build an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). In the early stage, you are all excited about the new startup. But on the rational side, you need to see whether your business idea will work out with the target users. The following are some key points you need to follow while building and testing your MVP:
- Test your MVP with the target users
- Prioritize the core functionalities over the design
- Build brand awareness with your MVP
5. Building the Edtech solution
Now that you know your idea’s feasibility, you can move to the final development stage. You have 3 options for building your Edtech application: No code builders, you can build an in-house team, or you can hire an Edtech development company.
Plenty of no-code or low-code platforms are available for building your Edtech solution. The key benefits of these platforms are that they are time-saving and cost-effective. They are an option, but there are more drawbacks to these platforms than advantages.
The following are some of the drawbacks of using an app-building platform;
- It will be tricky for you to integrate payment gateways.
- Your app will run slower.
- Your app won’t be something unique.
- The app may face low-performance speed.
An in-house team allows you to sync everyone onboard with your Edtech app. You get to build your team of experts who will dedicatedly work on your Edtech project. The following are some key positions you will need to hire for Edtech app development.
- Project Manager
- Android/iOS developer (App)
- Frontend Developer (Web-based app)
- Backend developer
- UI UX designer
- QA engineers
Hire an Edtech development company
When you want everything built to perfection, then leave it to the hands of experts. An Edtech development company with experience working on similar projects can build you a successful Edtech platform.
Firstly, find the right agency considering their portfolio and reviews. Secondly, identify and specify your requirements to them. And make sure there’s no space left for confusion. When you stay transparent at all times and the process will run smoothly.
If you want to hire an Edtech development agency, you can contact Code theorem to help you build a thriving Edtech platform tailored to your business requirements.
EdTech tech stack
The performance and functionality of your Edtech development will rely on the technology stack you choose. Thus, it is essential to put together the right set of technology for your educational app development. You need to group the right tech stack so that it aligns with your educational app goals and objectives. The following are the basic technology stack requirements for Edtech app development:
|Backend languages||Ruby, C++ & PHP|
|Design & Prototyping||Figma, Adobe XD, & InVision|
|Edtech Mobile Development||Flutter or React-Native ( For a cross-platform Edtech)|
Most popular Edtech Apps examples
The following are some of the popular Edtech platforms you must know of
Coursera is an eLearning app that has collaborated with universities and educational institutions. There are on-demand courses for learners which are paid. According to a report, they have a user base of 100 million as of April 2022.
Chegg is an American Edtech platform that offers all kinds of student services like online tutoring, course materials (online and physical textbook rentals), and more.
Founded by Harvard University in 2012, EdX is a non-profit online learning platform. More importantly, students can access the course free of cost. However, they’ll need to pay for the certification and exams.
It is an eLearning platform offering on-demand courses in three different business, creative, and technology categories.
It is a virtual classroom especially created for educational organizations to connect teachers and students. Google Classroom allows teachers to assign, share, and grade assignments. You can use other Google services like google docs, sheets, google meet, Gmail, and Calendar to simplify classroom interaction.
Byju’s is an India-based Edtech company that was founded in 2011. It is an AR-based online learning platform. As of March 2022, they claimed to have a user base of more than 115 million.
How do businesses monetize an EdTech platform?
Edtech platforms vary depending on the organization. Some online educational platforms are non-profit, while there are various ways of monetizing an EdTech platform.
Firstly, one of the most common approaches in SaaS apps, in the freemium model, you strategically offer a limited number of features. As a result, the users will be moving to a paid model to unlock the full functionality.
Here, the users will pay a recurring amount on a monthly or yearly basis for the EdTech services. There are multiple plans where the prices go up with the functionality you avail. Basically, most of the plans go from free/Basic to premium.
Payout is one of the popular revenue models. The admin of EdTech will charge a special payout for the course. The payout is charged when the course ends.
Ads & promotion
The Edtech app or website will be accessible for free in this revenue model. But it will display ads and promotions for certain relevant products for people taking courses.
You can charge a cancellation when a student or professional cancels the courses before completing them. Also, the cancellation charges are not prominent enough, yet they help make good revenue.
Undoubtedly, added features and purchases are a great way to generate revenue. When there’s an ongoing course, the users might need an additional feature or two and most of the time, and they wouldn’t mind spending a little extra.
Personalized learning experience
You can analyze user behavior and offer a personalized learning experience where the tutor is focused on each student. You can charge extra by creating a separate subscription plan for personalized learning.
How much it costs for an Edtech development?
For Edtech development, numerous factors will affect the cost of creating an Edtech app. The following are some of the factors that will help determine the cost:
- Development approach
- Project Complexity
- Technology stack
It is a budget-friendly option if you plan on a cross-platform EdTech development. However, its speed and responsiveness may vary.
All in all, the cost for EdTech development may land anywhere from $12000 to $75000. And the cost may vary based on your business requirements.
The disruption of technology has helped bloom the education sector. Making it accessible to everyone with the help of the internet. Schools and universities have adopted edtech and large businesses to upskill working professionals. Above all, you are now more aware of which piece goes where in the Edtech puzzle and build a successful EdTech platform with the right tools and approaches.