3 Simple Steps Towards Educational App Development

25 May 2017
11 min
author avatar
Nataliya Kh.
Business analyst

Education is no longer as tedious as most adults may remember it to be. Now you can study anytime and anywhere to your convenience. The education market has become not only a platform for new technological developments but also a significant niche for business. As for the main trends in education, they are the gamification of the educational process for young children, learning foreign language apps and products that are related to programming and digital education.

Do you want to be a part of this? You can create your own app of any kind (there are dozens of them already, by the way) and make it popular bearing in mind three simple things.

  1. Make sure you know your market: target audience and market segmentation
    2. What technology will be useful to make your app stand out
    3. How you will generate profit with the help of educational app

Try to find answers to these questions before the educational app development. Here's our helping hand.

Target audience and market segmentation

The worldwide markets are not equal, the popularity of one or another tech product depends on many factors, including geographical. We don't want to limit you to a particular territory. Depending on your business objectives and the characteristics of each market, your product can be successful anywhere. Just a bit of statistics if you are not tied to any location and choosing right now.

The educational apps is a number-one searched category on Google Play and the second most popular one on App Store. Statistical data says the main competitive market in the niche of educational applications is in Brazil, Mexico, and the United States. There are no restrictions on the types of applications, the more original the idea is, the better.


The first step in building a base of the loyal users is engagement. See the main trends of engaging customers in 2017

The Chinese market of educational innovations is also a developing one. Here users expect to have apps related to creativity development, playing musical instruments or drawing.

Educational App for learning how to play the piano

Pianist HD: App for learning how to play the piano

However, according to the research, the Swedes willingly spend money on educational programs, which makes Sweden a profitable place to offer ideas in this area.

Main trends and niches of educational apps for adults

Children are not the only who need motivation for their studies. Adult also need to be inspired. The beat way to do it is to keep them interested using technological advances.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

Education is another sector that has chosen a virtual reality for engaging its audience. The advantage is that VR allows large groups of students to interact with each other in a three-dimensional environment.

If you want to add VR elements to your educational product, you should note that the interface of the VR app will differ from the standard app a lot. The first reason is that the user will not be able to interact with the smartphone physically, since it is put on the headset. Remember to take care of:

  • Gesture tracking feature, including head position tracking. The application can obtain information about the position of the smartphone from various sensors (gyroscope, accelerometer, etc.)
  • Correctly formed stereo image (so that the user could immerse in another reality)
  • Barrel Distortion (the effect that appears when the glow from the display passes through the lens of the VR device)
  • No less than 60 fps VR video to avoid a lagging animation, which can create a negative experience for the user.

What is the future of the virtual reality? We have some thoughts about its further development.

One of the examples is Expeditions from Google, which is developed for Google Cardboard and is filled with content from National Geographic. With the built-in VR feature, you can travel around museums, underwater worlds, historical sights and various other places.

Educational apps that use VR

Expeditions from Google. VR-based educational app

Brain teasing apps

Apps that are designed to develop skills such as memory, attention, concentration, logical and evaluative thinking are still very popular. Peak, Memrise, Elevate, Lumosity are just a few examples of the top ones. The distinctive feature of suchlike apps is their small size. These apps are very popular educational apps for adults as they provide multitasking: it will be interesting for users to choose from a variety of different tests and kinds of sciences.

brain teasing educational apps

Peak: Top brain teasing apps

Language learning apps

Learning a foreign language is, probably, one of the most common purposes to use and create an educational app. Mobile technologies bring totally new experience to master reading, speaking, and listening skills. The most popular apps in this niche are Duolingo, LinguaLeo, and Babbel. One thing all of them have in common is that learning is carried out in a game form, taking into account the level of already existing knowledge, moving from the easiest to more complex levels.

How to make an educational app of this kind that will be able to compete with leaders? Here developers can use such built-in functions as voice recognition (technologies can be found on the Google Cloud Speech API or the Microsoft Bing Speech API) and chatbots in order to stand out. Try to develop our own teaching methodology, who knows, maybe you have something to offer.

Language learning apps for adults

Duolingo: Language learning apps

Read forward and we will share our client's experience of creating the Uber for Teaching app. That was a terrific idea!

Online courses for self-motivated

The form of distance education, which allows you to submit a course in an interactive form, supplementing the training materials with video lectures, media materials, the opportunity to take exams online and learn at any convenient time. Some of the most popular apps are Khan Academy, Udemy, Coursera, Udacity, Lynda.

When you make your app of this type, the main thing to consider is content: who will create it and how to present it effectively. For example, Lynda has a staff of content managers who supervise the content of courses, and also select training materials. ITunes U, in its turn, provides digitized educational audio and video files from the libraries of major universities.

Educational apps for distance learning

ITunes U: Online courses from top universities

Main trends of educational apps for children and students

Children learn when playing. Who doesn't know the education series of mobile apps for kids by Toca Boca? The whole series of games is very colorful and offers a lot of games of an educational purpose.

Apple makes huge steps towards education. Among other things it has introduced a simple and interactive way of learning Swift (a programming language created by Apple).

educational apps for children

Apple's Playground for learning Swift

An important aspect of working with children is strict compliance with regulatory standards. If you make an educational game for kids younger than 13 years old, most probably, you fall under COPPA's requirements. Its rules regulate the legitimate use of the data obtained from minors.

Cloud Based Technology in Education

There may be circumstances when a student can not attend the class personally. In such situations, cloud-based classes can be a perfect solution. They can include basic text lessons or can be extended with video and chat sessions. Google Classroom, for example, is placed in the cloud, which means all teaching materials are centralized in the cloud storage. Class Dojo and Socrative Teacher applications include such features as teacher-parent communication, behavior logging, and ratings, the ability to test knowledge online and get results.

Cloud-based technology for teachers and students

Google's Classroom: Cloud-based technology for teachers and students

How to monetize your educational app?

Educational apps is not the niche that would bring you large income at once. It is important to decide which educational niche to take, since the competition is quite tough. Earning loyal customers of your service may also take more than one year. Sill, if you are in tune for serious planning and hard work, you can be successful all over the world.

Let's move on to monetization. The question is how to make an educational app that will generate profit to its owner. The first method is a pay per download method. Don't be afraid to apply it, because in the educational sphere is one of the most paid niches and people tend to pay for a quality product.


If you decide to create an educational chatbot, you have to know how to monetize it efficiently

However, pay attention to users' behavior and needs. For example, choosing between two similar applications, they always choose the one that will cost less. So it's worth making an analysis of your competitors' strategy to build your own.

Some other good ways to monetize educational applications can also be:

  • The partnership agreement with the educational institution. You have many options here: you can sell your product to the institution, or make an agreement to use their training materials on your service.
  • Freemium model. The main functions of your app are free. To get a more extended version, you can put a fixed fee. It is important to keep the balance here, since if there are very few free functions, users may not be caught with your app idea and vice versa, too many free functions can discourage them from additional purchases.
  • Advertising. What you need to take into account is that advertising should correspond to the age of the main users, as it may be inappropriate for children, or ineffective.
  • Selling physical/virtual goods. Everything depends on the type of application. You can offer toys, training materials, VR equipment.
  • Paid subscription. The basic version of your app can be free to download but a monthly subscription provides for access for extended information, consultations, and other additional features.

How to create an educational app for teachers and students: Cleveroad's experience

The project we are currently working on is called Tutoring. It is based on the iOS platform with a web admin panel and server. The application is divided into two parts: for tutors and students. The user can switch from one part to another.

The Tutoring app structure

The tutor side looks like a personal account. The user can see a list of requests, personal calendar, and setup parameters.

how to create educational apps: Cleveroad experience

The tutor side of the Tutoring app

The student side represents an interface where the user can choose a course unit, a tutor and adjust a convenient time and place to study.

The student is free to join group study with up to six people in the class or a personal lesson. The price of the lesson depends on the number of students attending it.

Tutoring app: Cleveroad experience

The student side of the Tutoring app

Both students and teacher can leave a feedback about each other upon completion of the lesson.

To become a tutor, the user submits an application. After a personal interview with the app administrator, both sides sign a contract and set up an account of the tutor.

Payment setup

The students pay for lessons directly in the app. The money arrives in the app account. We have used Stripe service to organize the payment process. It provides a high level of security thanks to the following mechanism:

  1. The CVC and other card's data is taken on the app page
    2. The app doesn't transfer this data but calls the method to create a token. It is done with the help of a public key related to the account that calls javascript from the Stripe server. 
    3. The app gets the token that can be saved and sent. This token may be decrypted only by the Stripe servers.

Thus, the scheme avoids transferring open private data. The encryption takes place on the client side. It is implemented by means of special script located on the Stripe servers. The teachers receive the money in a face-to-face meeting with the app manager. The registration of receipts and expenses is conducted in the app admin panel.


The teacher can communicate with the student via the one-to-one text chat. This is a convenient way to agree on possible questions without leaving the app.

Tutoring app: In-app communication

In-app chat of the Tutoring app

The administrator can view users' profiles and read their chats. It was made for the purpose of controlling the chat history and make sure that tutoring is paid according to the app's policy.

If you are interested in creating an app that is based on Uber's business model, you can't miss the video below.

How to Create Uber-like Business?

I hope, the information above was helpful and you came closer to answering the question 'How can I make my own app for learning?' For any further questions, suggestions, or ideas feel free to contact our managers. We are available 24/7!

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