As tablet technology becomes increasingly integrated in the classroom (thanks to Apple’s Education Initiative), and the estimated 1.5 million iPads currently used in schools continues to grow, educators and students are looking for new ways to apply technology to the learning process—particularly through use of mobile applications.
A recent study by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center shows that since 2009, the percentage of apps for children in every age category from toddler to high school has risen. Additionally, a look at the top 25 apps reveals about 60% of those apps target children.
It’s clear that children’s apps are an important and growing market, but with over 20,000 educational apps currently available in the Apple App Store, competition is high, making discovery by both educator and student difficult. In order to create a strategic, well-planned educational app that will succeed in 2013, there are a few things to consider.
1. Alleviate financial strain. Apps that can alleviate financial strain on the school system are favored for enterprise deployment. These apps can be easily updated, giving students up-to-date information over text books that contain content, which could be years out of date.
2. Cultivate curiosity. Successful apps help spark a students curiosity and allow the learning experience to be more immersive and fun, engaging students in a way that was previously not possible with traditional text books and learning tools.
3. Untapped demographics. While apps for young children are the most popular, ample opportunity exists in the relatively untapped middle and high school age categories where competition is less fierce and thirst for knowledge and learning is high.
4. STEM subjects. Apps in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) category are some of the most sought after due to their ability to help students comprehend difficult concepts through hands-on, experiential learning.
In the fast-paced and constantly changing mobile space, investing in a strategically planned app can mean the difference between being relevant or being deleted.
Chart: iLearn II Study by The Joan Ganz Cooney Center