If you are looking for new trends in app development, you should pay attention to the sphere of education. No wonder educational applications are so confidently gaining in popularity. Every student now owns a smartphone, a tablet, or both. Gadgets have transformed from toys into very useful educational tools.
What is eLearning?
eLearning and mLearning (Mobile learning) – a kind of distance learning with the help of new technologies: educational apps, programs, podcasts, blogs, online tools etc.
What are the benefits of eLearning?
- It is flexible and mobile: it is up to learner himself to choose the time and place.
- It makes the learning process continuous – studying on the go and no limits within the educational institutions.
- Age independence – youth and adults enjoy benefits of lifelong learning.
- It provides quick and easy access to information.
- High efficiency. Information is more easily digested when presented in small and concise “bites”.
- Higher levels of motivation and engagement.
- Cheaper prices are accessible for people who cannot afford college tuition fees.
- Learning access for people with disabilities. So there is a charity aspect in developing online learning tools.
- Collaboration – communication with fellow students and instructors, learning communities.
- Has immense business potential, is both profitable and socially useful.
Best educational applications:
If you have chosen apps for students as a business opportunity, but are unsure which direction to pick, here are some main kinds of the best and the most popular educational apps and list of main features they include:
1. Online courses
The internet now is saturated with the diversity of online courses, however, probably the most famous one is Coursera. It collaborates with top universities and colleges and provides online courses in the most various spheres. It also offers financial aid for those willing to study despite financial difficulties. The platform contains such features as:
- Courses catalog, forum and blog
Interactive textbooks with video and audio lectures
Online quizzes and submitting tasks to peer students for assessment
Mobile version for permanent access to all the grades and materials
Convenient payment system allowing to pay online for courses undertaken
KhanAcademy consists of short lessons, approximately 10 minutes in length. It covers a variety of subjects from math, history to computer programming and art. The interesting feature about it is that the majority of lessons were created by the founder himself, a genuine know-it-all. On their website you’ll find:
- Catalog of courses on natural and humanitarian science
Open University is the real online full-range university. It provides access to the educational content to people around the world. The team of OU is proud to have the more disabled students than any other university in Europe. Courses are available on different platforms:
- Open Learn – website with free online courses, registration is not required
Youtube channel – teaching video clips and broadcasts
Open University on iTunes allows to download video, audio lectures and supporting materials of courses which students are learning. To make the learning process even more fun, it proposes short, lasting 1 minute, lectures entitled “60-second adventures in…”(economics, astronomy, religion). They explain different questions in a funny and interesting manner, voiced by a famous comedian.
Open Research online – a huge collection of student research publications
Open Culture is a stock not only of online courses, but also free movies, books, music etc. This is where you can not only study online but also download textbooks to penetrate deeper into the subject. Different book lists can guide you on this path.
TED is a free media resource, offering high-quality video speeches of experts in their area of studies or just inspiring and interesting stories. Most of the videos are subtitled in a lot of languages, so they are accessible all around the world. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. The videos bring up some innovational and crucial topics, rather than being a classical online knowledge base. For users’ convenient TED offers:
- Videos with subtitles in a lot of languages
- Podcast playlists
- Mobile application
Duolingo is a tool specially designed for learning new languages, from the most widespread to some exotic ones. The app is able to calculate the progress by dividing all knowledge into levels, this is how it also increases retention and completion.
- Language lessons which accompanied by practical tests
- Evaluating progress by levels and achievements
- Mobile application available on different platforms
- Separate application with tests – general and business
- Ability to get Duolingo language certificate and add it to LinkedIn profile
2. Apps for memorizing
Wolfram Alpha positions itself as a knowledge engine. It provides access to:
- Huge database with exact and concise information on wide range of topics. The materials are presented in graphs, diagrams, comparative tables formulas and step-by-step explanations, that is why it is easily perceived and digested.
Online calculation formulas
Set of web tools for personal and business purposes
Semper(Unlock Your Brain) is considered to be an immensely efficient learning tool. Why? Simply because it’s effortless. With this app you can learn while unlocking your phone or waiting for your other app to load, which is fast and convenient. It allows easily learn and memorize new words, phrases and facts on-the-go.
- Selecting of learning packs
- Short microlearning puzzles
- Support of more than 50 languages
Brainscape introduces a totally new way of learning – by means of flashcards. It enables users to find those flashcards available, created by teachers or other students or to create his own ones. The flashcards can be opened on any device. Brainscape is also a great solution for teachers to boost the attendance and engagement.
3. Supporting tools
What can be better than type a word and quickly find it online instead of looking for it in a paperback dictionary? The creators of resources such as Dictionary.com, Oxford Dictionary, Cambridge Dictionary and Macmillan Dictionary think so too. Most of the online dictionaries have:
- Multilanguage translation feature
Phrases match and explanatory dictionary
Mobile version support
In the modern world you do not necessarily have to go to the nearest library and carry tons of books. You can just go online, use tools such as Safari or Scribd, which has recommended itself as a Netflix of books.
- Catalog by authors and genres
- Downloading books on the e-book, laptop, smartphone or tablet
Keeping notes in order
Evernote is a useful tool for managing your documents. With the help of Evernote you can create and share text docs, to-do lists and many other things, which is invaluable in the process of learning, as helps with information storage and collaboration with other students.
4. Apps for Exam Preparation
- Practice tests and quizzes
Flashcards for quick memorizing
Test and teaching material databases
Help to manage study time by different reminders
“Questions of the day” serve as a small gamification element
There are more simple apps with tests only and full Learning Management systems with a more wide spectre of features and services.
An example of such system is Maximum – an online platform that contains exam preparation tests and a set of learning management tools.
For a student it provides following features:
- Theory database
- Key to exercises
- Student’s journal with class schedule and homework
- Statistics about attendance and homework completion
- Interface for communication with teacher
For parents of the student there are also such features as:
- Student’s class schedule
- Statistics of classes attendance
- Statistics of homework completion and achievements
This application has been developed by our team for the Russian company offering services on the prep for the standardized tests.
Maximum mobile app is not only a help for learners, but also a great company promotion tool, as it raises the users’ awareness of the company services, boosts the engagement of current users and helps to generate some new ones.
Involving mobile technologies in education is a perspective direction. Maybe the idea you have in mind can turn out to be an app college students will not be able to do without? Do not hesitate then, until someone else has used it instead of you. If you are still uncertain, we will gladly consult you for free and share our experience in this field.