How to Create an Educational App: Features, Cost, and Business Models

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28 May 2020
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Katherine O.
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Evgeny M.
Business analyst

We’ve updated the article to add the final price to make an educational app.

Education is no longer as tedious as most adults may remember. These days, it’s possible to study anytime and anywhere using only a smartphone. The education market has become a platform for tech innovations and a significant niche for business.

A lot of enterprises like Samsung, Dell, and Fujitsu invest in the smart education and eLearning industry. The education app market size is expected to grow by over $46 billion during 2020-2024.

Table of contents

Among the primary trends in education is gamification children, foreign language learning apps, and projects related to programming and digital education.

Do you want to create an education app? In this guide, you can find data about the required features and technologies. Also, we’ll provide you with a final cost to make an education app.

Education industry stats

Education industry stats (Source: Statista)

Types of Educational Apps

Before starting educational app development, you need to decide what kind of application you want to create. There are two main types of edu apps — for students and teachers. However, both types have a bunch of subtypes. Below we’ll discuss all the details.

Educational Apps for Teachers

Educational apps for teachers aren’t as varied as apps for learners. However, these applications make the teaching process more convenient. A bunch of apps can be used for tracking students’ progress and sharing grades with parents to keep them posted. Also, there are educational apps for teachers to schedule classes.

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Interested in eLearning development? Check our guide ‘ How to Create an e-Learning Website: Business Models, Core Features, and Cost.’

Apps with gamification at their core

To make the education process fun and interesting, teachers tend to use various applications. For example, Kahoot offers the tutor to prepare some questions and answers. After that, the app transforms them into a game. Monster Math allows understanding the basics of mathematics through cool games.

Apps for tracking progress

Various apps allow monitoring students’ progress and share their grades with parents. Seesaw is an application with a learner's portfolio. The parents can follow their progress and achievements. Also, students can share their most significant works. One more app, Additio, manages grades, notes, and attendance of the learners. Also, Additio allows planning timetables.

Apps for storing learning materials

Cloud-based platforms are perfect for sharing learning materials with students. Such solutions are quite convenient for both — learners and tutors. For example, Schoology, in addition to file sharing, allows making notes and highlighting essential data in the text. Google has also created an educational app — Google Classroom. This application allows working with Google Documents, making a copy for each learner, or creating folders on Google Drive. So, all the files are well-organized.

Educational app development: apps for teachers

Education apps for teachers

Educational Apps for Students

Speaking about educational app development, we tend to think about learning applications for students with various purposes. Such solutions are quite wide-spread among kids and adults because they make learning fun.

There are a bunch of various educational apps for students. Below we’ve listed the most popular among users.

Apps for learning a language

Learning a foreign language, students need to have constant practice. A lot of modern apps offer fun games for learning new words or watching educational videos. For example, DuoLingo provides users with a test to find out the user’s knowledge level of the language. The app offers a course based on the collected data. In contrast, Memrise offers watching short videos with native speakers. After watching the video, users need to learn new words.

Apps for kids

Creating educational apps, you need to consider solutions for kids. These days, children spend a lot of time playing games on their tablets. However, educational apps for kids make games useful. Kids can learn how to read, write, or count with the help of applications. For example, Poptropica English offers children to solve mysteries while practicing English. Fish School has a bunch of games to teach kids letters, numbers, shapes, and colors.

Apps for online courses

Adults have an opportunity to pick a course, depending on their interests or working needs. A lot of universities and colleagues are ready to cooperate with educational platforms. Coursera is probably the most wide-spread platform for online learning. It gives access to numerous courses in various industries, working with universities from all over the world. Udemy offers courses from tutors on multiple topics. The platform has a flexible search and filtering system, so it’s easy to pick an exciting course.

Apps for exam preparation

A bunch of cool apps like ExamPrep or GradeUp make students’ lives easier. Such solutions tend to offer practice tests and quizzes, flashcards for memorizing, and more. Maximum prepares students for various exams like K12 school subjects, English language, IT and programming courses, and others. TCY also offers many tests like Mick Tests, Engineering/Medical, MBA/CAT, and other exams.

Educational app development: apps for students

Educational apps for students

How to Build an Educational App: Features and Technologies

Before starting the educational app development, you need to draw up a list with features for your project. You need to divide features into two groups according to the users’ roles — for students and teachers.

Also, features can be basic and advanced. Basic or MVP features stand for functionality that is required to satisfy basic user needs. As for advanced, they add some exciting functionality to engage more users.

To give you a hint, we’ve listed some ideas below.

Must-Have Features of an Educational App for Students

Singup/Login

It’s better to offer various options to sign up for your app. For example, you can add such options as email and password or phone number and password. To make the app more user-friendly, you need to add the ‘Forgot password’ option. To create a signup feature, developers need to use Amazon SES and Amazon SNS.

Duolingo registration

Duolingo registration

Search

How to make an educational app and not to fail? You need to develop a flexible search. To find the right course or subject, students need to use an advanced search. To create a search system, developers can use ElasticSearch.

User profile

This screen allows students to look through dashboards and courses they participate in. Also, here they can add their account details like subject, age, and more.

Features of educational app

Student dashboard (Source: Dribbble)

Course

To choose the right course, students need to look through the details like the course program and description. Also, here you need to add the ‘Buy’ button.

Duolingo course screens

Duolingo course screens

Payments

You need to integrate a secure payment gateway to make the payment process easy and safe. Developers tend to use Braintree to make these features.

Menu

To see the list of upcoming lessons and tasks, students need a ‘Menu’ feature. It may contain chosen courses, lists of tasks, and tests. Also, there should be a list of marks to track progress. As a result, learners are organized, and the learning process is easy.

Duolingo lesson

Duolingo lesson

Push notifications

Users can get notification about any course updates. Also, it’s better to notify learners when they get marks. Push notifications are useful for user engagement. Developers choose Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) to develop push notifications.

Education app features

Features of an education app (students' side)

Must-Have Features of an Educational App for Teachers

Signup/login

To use the app, teachers also need to login to the app. It’s better to also offer such options as email and password and phone and password. Developers tend to use Amazon SES and Amazon SNS to create a ‘Registration’ feature.

Additio registration

Additio registration

Students management

Teachers need to manage students effectively. For this, they should see the list of learners and details about them. Also, the tutor needs to check tests and put marks.

Features of educational app

Teacher dashboard (Source: Dribbble)

Course

How to make an educational app successful? Tutors need to create a course fast and easy. Also, they need an opportunity to upload photos and videos or other learning materials. It’s also good to add a course editing option.

Test

To test the learners’ knowledge and progress, tutors need to create tests. They need to add several questions and answers. It’s also essential to let them edit the test.

Additio marks

Additio marks

Push notifications

Teachers can be notified about done tests and new students on their courses. FCM technology is perfect for developing push notification.

Features of an education app

Features of an education app (teachers' side)

Team to Develop an Educational App

Creating educational apps for iOS and Android, you need a development team. Here are the specialists you’ll need to build your project:

  • Business Analyst
  • Project Manager
  • UI/UX designer
  • 1 or 2 Android developers
  • 1 or 2 iOS developers
  • 1 or 2 Flutter developers (in case you chose Flutter development)
  • Back-end developers
  • Front-end developers
  • QA engineer

There are two main ways to cooperate with IT specialists — hire an in-house team or an outsourcing company. Both options have pros and cons. It’s easier to communicate with in-house teams, but they tend to cost more due to office rent, equipment for them (hardware and software), and some other things . On the other hand, developers from outsourcing destinations (like Eastern Europe) offer affordable rates in addition to the high quality of the product.

How to Develop an Educational App: Required Tech Stack

A bunch of powerful tools can be used for e-learning app development. If you want to make a native mobile app, you need to use a programming language — Swift (iOS) and Kotlin (Android). In the case of cross-platform development, developers can utilize Flutter.

To give you a hint, we’ve listed the required technologies to make an educational app.

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Note: You should consult with professionals to choose the tech stack for your educational app. The final toolset always depends on your technical needs and project requirements.

iOS app

  • Programming language: Swift
  • Networking: Alamofire

Android app

  • Programming language: Kotlin
  • Networking: OkHttp 3

Back-end development

  • Programming language: Node.js
  • Framework: Express 4
  • Database: MySQL
  • API: Swagger

Tools

  • Signup: Amazon SES, Amazon SNS
  • Emails: Elastic Email
  • Search: Elastic search
  • Payment: Braintree
  • Push notifications: FCM
  • Storage: Amazon S3
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Tech stack to make education app

Technologies required for education app development

How Much Does It Cost to Make an Educational App?

Educational mobile app development cost consists of various parts. The most significant amount of development time and cost take features. In the previous section, we’ve singled out the required features of the learning application.

Time to Build an Educational App: MVP features

So, let’s find out the time developers need to build each feature for iOS, Android, and web (back end). We’ve also added the Flutter estimation to show you the difference in price.

Below you can find an estimate for features required for students’ side of the app.

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Below you can find APPROXIMATE time and cost to develop an educational app. To calculate the final price, we need to know the project requirements.

Time to create MVP features of an educational app for a student
Feature Back-end development iOS development Android development Flutter development

Singup/login

47 hours

42 hours

42 hours

44 hours

Search

22 hours

21 hours

21 hours

21 hours

Profile

59 hours

39 hours

39 hours

47 hours

Course

19 hours

17 hours

17 hours

17 hours

Payments

45 hours

35 hours

35 hours

42 hours

Menu

88 hours

95 hours

95 hours

100 hours

Push notifications

14 hours

14 hours

14 hours

14 hours

Now, let’s single out the time demanded for developing teachers’ side of the app.

Time to make MVP features of an educational app for a teacher
Feature Back-end development iOS development Android development Flutter development

Signup/login

47 hours

42 hours

42 hours

44 hours

Students management

56 hours

56 hours

56 hours

56 hours

Course

72 hours

64 hours

64 hours

64 hours

Test

79 hours

55 hours

55 hours

55 hours

Push notifications

14 hours

14 hours

14 hours

14 hours

How to make a learning app outstanding? You can add several advanced features. Here are some ideas:

  • Chatbot
  • Video meetings
  • Personalized recommendations
  • Gamification

Additional Expenses to Develop a Learning App

Software development costs consist of several more parts in addition to features. Below we’ve listed the main factors that can completely change the final price of the application.

Platform

There are three popular platforms for software development — Web, Android, and iOS. If you want to create iOS and Android apps at once, you need to double the price of one app since they require different programming languages. However, Flutter development allows creating cross-platform solutions for iOS and Android. As a result, you can reduce expenses, but Flutter specialists are quite demanded.

Developers’ location

Developers from different regions tend to have various hourly rates. For example, the most expensive software development services are in the USA and Australia. At the same time, such countries as Ukraine offer more affordable rates.

Software development hourly rates according to the region
Region Web developer rates iOS developer rates Android developer rates

North America

$130 - $150

$110 - $250

$150 - $170

Western Europe

$60 - $75

$37 - $175

$70

Eastern Europe

$25 - $50

$23 - $80

$35 - $50

Australia

$100 - $110

$35 - $150

$110

Design

Creating an educational app design can be a struggle. Creating an attractive and user-friendly UI/UX design tends to be a time-consuming and expensive process. However, the design is a crucial success factor since customers prefer to use intuitive apps. UI/UX designers require at least 120 hours to create a design for one platform — iOS or Android. In the case of Flutter development, designers create only one design, so it takes 120 hours.

How to make an educational app: design concept

Educational app design (Source: Dribbble)

Admin panel

Admin panel offers a bunch of cool features to manage users. For example, it allows blocking, editing, and deleting users. You need an admin panel since it’s impossible to handle a lot of users manually. Also, the admin panel provides payment management. To create this part of an educational app, developers need at least 100 hours. However, the good news is that you need only one admin panel to manage all the platforms.

QA time

Quality assurance services are vital for any tech project. QA engineers carefully test the apps to find bugs and fix them. The final cost of testing depends on the complexity of your project. To test an educational app (MVP for Android and iOS apps, and back-end), QA engineers need approximately 1,300 hours.

DevOps time

DevOps services allow filling the gap between developers and the IT operations team. DevOps specialists consider the right tools and automate the code flow from development to production. DevOps time takes about 200 hours during education app development.

The Final Price to Develop Educational App

Considering all the factors we’ve discussed, let’s single out the final time and price to create an education app.

Time to make an educational app
Type of work Back-end development iOS development Android development Flutter development

Features for students

294 hours

263 hours

263 hours

285 hours

Features for teachers

268 hours

231 hours

231 hours

233 hours

Admin panel (one for all platforms)

100 hours

-

-

-

Frameworks and libraries integration

32 hours

20 hours

20 hours

28 hours

UI/UX design

-

120 hours

120 hours

120 hours

Quality assurance

390 hours

455 hours

455 hours

500 hours

DevOps

60 hours

70 hours

70 hours

70 hours

Project management

162 hours

189 hours

189 hours

220 hours

Total time

1,306 hours

1,348 hours

1,348 hours

1,456 hours

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All the estimates below are based on the average rate in our region (Eastern Europe, Ukraine) — $50 per hour.

Having development hours, we can calculate the final price.

You need to add back-end development time and iOS or Android development time, according to the chosen platform. After that, you need to multiply the time by the team’s hourly rate.

In case of the Flutter development, you do the same. You add back-end development time to Flutter development time and multiply the time by the team’s hourly rates.

To create an educational app, you need at least $132,700 for one platform (iOS or Android) and $200,100 for two platforms.

How much does it cost to make an educational app?
Platform Time Cost

Total for one app (iOS or Android)

2,654 hours

$132,700

Total for two apps (iOS and Android)

4,002 hours

$200,100

Total for two apps (Flutter)

2,762 hours

$138,100

Discover educational app cost
We’ll check your project requirements and calculate the price for free.

Successful Examples of Educational Apps

To give you a hint, we’ve decided to discuss three educational projects that have already reached success.

DuoLingo

DuoLingo is a perfect platform for learning foreign languages. The app offers to choose among a bunch of popular languages like German, English, Italian, and more. Also, the app is quite convenient since users can choose their native language. It makes the education process faster and has customers from all over the world.

The platform got investments from such companies as General Atlantic, CapitaIG, and others. The total funding amount reaches $148.4 million.

Introducing Duolingo

Khan Academy

Khan Academy offers a lot of online courses, lessons, and practices. Students can take math, arts, informatics, and other classes. The platform offers iOS and Android apps to let learners to study anywhere. Developing an educational app, you can consider Khan Academy features since the platform is popular all over the world.

Omidyar Network invested in this project. These days, the total funding amount reaches $10.2 million.

Udemy

One more wide-spread educational platform that offers online courses. Udemy cooperates with individual tutors to provide high-quality lessons.

Udemy is famous for various courses for adults. There are such categories as software development, business, accounting, personal development, and others.

Such companies as Benesse, Prous & Naspers, and Stripes invested in Udemy development. The total funding amount reaches $223 million.

Udemy's Founder Story

How to Create a Learning App and Not to Fail: Monetization Models

How to create an educational app and make it profitable?

You need to consider the following monetization strategies to get the revenue.

  • Freemium
  • Advertisements
  • Paid apps

Let’s single out the details of each option.

Freemium

A bunch of educational apps (DuoLingo, Memrise) offer premium features. Users need to subscribe to access advanced features. For example, DuoLingo provides an ad-free experience, offline access, unlimited hearts, and more.

Advertisements

Ads are the most popular monetization model since it allows customers to use the platform for free. DuoLingo even tells the user that to keep education free, it’s required to see the ad.

Paid apps

The idea is obvious. Having attractive design and exciting features, you can set a reasonable price and receive some money from a paid version of the educational application.

How to monetize an education app

How to monetize an education app

Business Model Canvas of DuoLingo and Coursera

Business model canvas allows studying the platform and singling out the interesting features.

Below you can find business models of two educational giants — DuoLingo and Coursera.

We’ve added value propositions, business partners, and revenue streams.

Duolingo and Coursera business model canvas

Duolingo and Coursera business model canvas

How We Can Help: Cleveroad Expertise

We’ve been developing solutions for the Education industry for more than five years now. Our developers are experienced in creating scalable solutions for iOS and Android.

We’ve recently developed an educational app called School App. School App keeps students and teachers in touch. The app has a lot of details about teachers, clubs, sports activities, and more. The solution has iOS and Android apps, along with a web version.

We’ve developed School App for three platforms at the same time. There is also a responsive admin panel, in-app calls, and support for two languages — English and Spanish.

School App

School App

Got an idea for an edu app?
Get tech consultation and a custom project estimate from our team. It’s free of charge.

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Comments
LS
Liane Stiller
12.06.2020 at 02:17
I really liked the tech stack to make an educational app. Think that Flutter development is the future of mobile apps. This solution allows speed up the development process.
با
بیتا احمدی
13.07.2020 at 17:58
Liked your article! Thanks a lot)
GN
Guy Newman
30.07.2020 at 20:29
School App is quite good. Your team has done a great job. The technologies you picked are up-to-date. Educational apps bring a lot of benefits making learning fun and interesting.
MW
Maurice Weaver
08.10.2020 at 10:26
Cool post!
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