Why Learning Apps Are Popular & What’s Needed to Develop Them

Technology has completely changed the education system. Learning apps provide an opportunity to make the learning process informative and interactive. It attracts a wide audience, expands opportunities for introducing new services, and helps to get lifelike interactions with users. Educational programs open up new opportunities for universities, schools, private teachers, and training centers.

Indeed, modern education is a business with a turnover of hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Digitalization and the pandemic have made knowledge available not only in university classrooms. A smartphone is enough to get new skills and professions.

learning apps are popular

Circumstances That Have Given Push to Learning Apps

Before 2020, we could hardly name at least one app that we utilized on a constant basis. However, recent years were full of reasons to start learning right at home, on the go, or at the cafe (even at night).

Smartphones Have Gotten More Popular

More than 6.64 billion people have smartphones today. To see the difference, in 2019, there were 5 billion users worldwide.

Smartphones aren’t a novelty these days. Most of us use them daily for chatting, ordering food, playing games, and even working. Now, technology has evolved to the extent that allows us to acquire new skills, master professions, or get degrees and diplomas without leaving the room.

People Were (Are) Searching for Affordable Education Options

There are lots of people who want to know how to start cross-stitching, cook pasta or become a professional designer. They can either hire a tutor, enter a university, or attend masterclasses and workshops. However, all this requires a lot of time, money, and effort.

Listening to a teacher online is much more affordable. It is also convenient as you can pause your learning process and get back to it later from the moment you’ve left it previously. Thus, you will not miss anything and can combine online learning with your daily routine or chores. With the online format, you can learn at your own pace, re-watch the parts you didn’t understand, and make your learning process more fun overall.

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Learners Want More Choice & Accessibility in Picking Learning Resources

Imagine you want to learn how to trade cryptocurrencies. A few years ago, you had to spend days finding available tutors. Then, you had to compare them in prices, experiences, and teaching approaches (theory or practice). Also, you were greatly limited by your location.

Today, you can forget about paying a fortune to a next-door trader and buying hundreds of books. With the help of learning apps, you are able to choose any option available on the web. Most of them have trial periods so that you can actually test and see how they work for you.

Pandemic Hit and Online Learning Got a Necessary Boost

In April 2020, coronavirus restrictions (school closures) affected 1.6 billion students in 190 countries, according to UNESCO.

The expediency of distance learning was largely determined by the following factors: the availability of Internet access, the quality of communications, material resources, teachers’ qualifications, and the availability of conditions for studying at home.

This is where the pandemic facilitated the development of online learning, which was struggling to adapt to the “new normal.” Now we have online courses, apps, webinars, and training in abundance, and choosing among such a variety is only a matter of personal preferences and budget.

Why People Love Online Learning with Apps

Popular online learning tools like Duolingo, Khan Academy, Coursera, and Visual Tools on Google Earth utilize different approaches to presenting educational content. Therefore, the benefits they provide may vary. However, we decided to mention the main advantages of these apps.

Options for Learners of Every Type

Unlike learning at school (or any other kind of offline education), digital solutions offer apps for every type of learner:

  • kinesthetic
  • visual
  • auditory

For example, those who prefer visual learning can resort to Lucid, Mindly, or Picmonic apps. They are aimed at those who find seeing the best way of learning. For example, Lucid includes many visually stimulating learning materials. With the visual elements behind the product, the app provides students with engaging content.

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HelloChinese — a language learning app — is best suited to the auditory type of learners. You can improve your pronunciation by listening and repeating after a native speaker. Talking about language learning, one of the reasons why Coursera and Khan Academy have become popular is their ability to explain things to you in person (via video).

What about kinetic learners, they really appreciate tools like Gizmos. The essence of its approach lies in interactive online simulations and case studies in mathematics and science. All this promotes exploration and understanding through hands-on learning and experimentation.

Learning Apps Are Accessible & Available

Often, online learning apps are either free or much cheaper than a tutor or a semester at a university (meaning the average cost per lesson). Moreover, residents of small towns get a chance to study the same subjects as students — from anywhere. Now, there is no need to move to a city where your teacher or college is located. All you have to do is to download the required app.

Microlearning & Interactive Learning Is Fun and Good for People with Short Attention Span

Watch how people get information outside of offices and universities. For example, why is TikTok, whose content consists of short videos, so popular? It is difficult for a modern person to focus on one thing for a long time. The generation thinks in ten-second clips, people prefer accessible and fast materials. If training is adapted to this format, it will be easier to integrate it into the rhythm of life.

Microlearning involves the acquisition of knowledge in small portions, with constant repetition and complication. Yes, it is important that the lessons are short and fast.

Apps like Edmodo, Socrative, Projeqt, TedEd, and ThingLink make micro-units purposeful — each lesson teaches a complete action. The complete course forms a general picture of the topic under study.

Apps Are Perfect to Jumpstart In-Depth Learning

Studying with apps can serve as a great basis for your future education. For instance, a person willing to learn English can give it a try with Duolingo and then go hire a tutor. What’s more, it is a great solution for those who aren’t sure of their career path. They can take a coding course on CodeAcademy and later decide whether to continue programming or not.

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Learners Are in Control of the Process

Mobile app learning helps students improve classroom performance by giving them control over aspects of their education. They can search for answers, improve their skills in the classroom, and access additional content. For example, after a lesson, students can view the content of the lecture as many times as they want. In this way, students with poorer academic performance can easily master the subject without anyone’s help.

On top of this, learning through apps is a great way to develop student engagement and help keep them in control of making choices about their education. Sometimes, complex topics become more fun when presented in a playful way.

By introducing competition and rewards, apps like Let Me Speak, can make learning easy and motivate students to keep up. In addition, it will generate interest in subjects that are often considered boring.

So, You Want to Develop a Learning App. What Would You Need to Do That?

To develop a decent learning app, you have to address a number of issues. Twinslash gathered the most crucial ones in one list:

  • Strong UX research team. Firm contact with the audience is a must for learning app development. This is crucial since the design of your app will directly influence the way your users study. And this is easily achievable through well-thought-out UX.
  • Instructional designers & domain experts in the product team. Experts on the construction of the curriculum in the team will help you build an app that fully corresponds to the requirements of modern education.
  • Development of different formats for educational courses. Be sure to target all kinds of students (kinesthetic, visual, auditory). Also think of introducing self-studying, teaching, and gamified formats.
  • Well-developed monetization strategy. Think about how you will monetize your app in advance. Currently, the most useful strategies are in-app advertising, subscription, and freemium.
  • Data analytics (if your audience wants it). Showing students’ weak/strong points can not only motivate them to study harder but also help them see what aspects require polishing. User research is a must here.
  • Community tools. Another feature you may include is chats, communication with mentors, leadership boards, etc. All this will help learners better their performance. On the other hand, too many competition tools can discourage people from participating in the process.

Almost every month we see new apps like HelloTalk, Babbel, or Blinkist leading in the Play Store and App Store. Unsurprisingly, recently developed programs are gradually edging tech giants out of the competition as young ones provide more features to their users.

According to Statista, online education revenue is projected to reach $166 billion in 2023. Undoubtedly, remote education and digital learning will grow in the future, and the tools people use will become more comfortable and easy to use.

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