Education is such a huge part of our lives. We’re going to a school being around 6 and finishing it (of course, it depends whether we do our masters degree) at the age of 24. That’s roughly (depending on the country & education path) 18 years of our lives that we spend at school alone! And that’s not all.
Our world demands from us, to constantly raise our competencies if we want to succeed at work. Learn new languages. New tools. New computer software. It’s also not much merciful for people who stay behind. That’s a very sad, sad fact but unless we decide to leave that race and start our own business (even that doesn’t solve the issue entirely) - we have to catch up. But on the other hand - the lifelong learning philosophy is becoming more and more popular. Some of us just love to expand their horizons by constantly learning new things. Gladly - we have much more advanced tools than books nowadays to do that efficiently. And that’s educational software.
Some of you may think (especially if you are a teacher born before the computer revolution) - ok, but learning things is mainly about reading books/articles/internet sources, memorizing them, and/or understanding another portion of the material and going to the next part right? What’s the computer systems advantage here?! Students just HAVE TO learn by themselves and no app will do that work for them! Unfortunately, this kind of misconception is not rare.
The chart above presents the % of Usage of digital learning tools by grade 6-12 teachers for teaching in the United States in 2019, divided by subject. As you see, even people who learn how to use computers don’t benefit from the full potential of educational software. And if we go deeper and see how little of them used it while teaching reading or understanding text, it’s becoming almost sad...
The gap here and potential for usage is huge - and we want to help to fix that, by showing you, fellow teacher or/and app entrepreneur what are the most noticeable educational systems! Who knows, maybe you will try some of them to totally revolutionize your teaching quality or make some money, by simultaneously making the education world a better place? Nevertheless - let us take you into the fascinating world of the education software. We made two successful educational apps already, so we know the drill.
Table of Contents:
1. What an Educational Software Exactly Is?
2. What is The Role of Application Software in Education?
3. What Are Some Most Interesting Educational Software Examples?
4. How to build your own educational software?
What an Educational Software Exactly Is?
The most important thing, that distinguishes education software from other app types is it’s the goal: to teach someone something or/and make the teaching process much more pleasant and efficient! While going deeper, we can distinguish 11 types of educational software:
- Authoring Systems - it helps teachers to develop their instructional software. Teachers can create electronic flash cards or index cards to teach children about certain concepts. Also, they can create multimedia content like reviews, lessons, and tutorials.
- Desktop Publishing - it is used to create and design handouts, newsletters, and flyers content. Teachers can use this software to inform parents and students about events or activities taking place in school.
- Graphic Software - students can use graphic software to capture, create, and change images available on the internet, on the program itself, or images available online. It is especially useful for creating online presentations.
- Reference Software - teachers can include reference software in research projects. Reference software lets students access the encyclopedia, thesauruses, atlases, and dictionaries. Thanks to reference, the children can deepen their knowledge on their own.
- Drill & Practice Software - Teachers can include drill and practice software to strengthen the existing skill set of students. This software is beneficial when teachers are trying to prepare students for exams and tests.
- Tutorial Software - Through tutorial software, teachers can teach students new lessons and provide them a platform through which they may learn the lesson at their own pace. They can also adjust the content to their level od advancement.
- Educational Games - There is numerous educational gaming software available in the market. Educational software companies have combined gaming and education into content, that simultaneously teaches and entertains. This type of software is very effective for younger children because it motivates them to learn.
- Simulations - that kind of education software enables teachers to teach students through virtual experience. For instance, students can use this software to gain the experience of flying a plane.
- Special Needs Software - it’s developed to address the requirements of a student with special needs. This software is combined with assistive software providing students with special needs with an effective platform to learn. For instance, those kinds of learning environments include computers reading the text aloud, speech synthesizers, and multimedia software targeting certain learning disabilities.
- Math Problem Solving Software - This educational software makes it possible for math teachers to strengthen the problem-solving skills of students and science teachers may use this software to conduct science experiments.
- Utility Software - utility software assists teachers in preparing tests, quizzes, and even functions as a grading book. Teachers that are not used to technology will find this software easy to learn and use.
So as you see there are so many things that you can achieve through the right educational app!
What is The Role of Application Software in Education?
The main goal of educational software nowadays is to make learning exciting. We live in a world where everything looks beautiful, gives us instant rewards, and fight for our attention with captivating titles and ads. Education must adjust to this.
I was born in 1994 and honestly - I’m glad that I’ve finished my mandatory education before this whole social media boom happened. I could not imagine myself to learn, for example, history by hard from the books now, with instant urges to check my Instagram. And as the research show - I’m not the only person who thinks like that as the main thing that students like about the educational software is that it makes learning… fun!
This chart above shows the leading reasons that K-12 students in the United States use digital learning tools in 2019, arranged by level. As we are getting older, some other things become more important for us (or maybe we think that we are too old to have fun while learning? ;) ) but still - the entertainment aspect is very important.
Education software is a perfect way to make even the most boring subject interesting. Exciting. Worth dedicating our precious time, that as a student we have less and less nowadays because of all the extra-curriculum classes and time we need, to simply get a break from all of this constant brain stimulation. It requires empathy from the teachers of the tutors' side to embrace that but if you want to have happy students on board - that’s the way to achieve it. Especially, as it can also make your job much, much easier!
What Are Some Most Interesting Educational Software Examples?
Now let’s cut to the chase. I hope you understand now how extremely important using education software is. Especially now, as the COVID-19 situation showed us, that there might be a situation that schools will be closed for months. And we never know, if something similar won’t happen again, someday. You can read more about post-pandemic trends, which we predict will also stay with us, in one of our published articles.
Better prepared than sorry SO - let’s see what kind of education software already available on the market is worth checking out!
Photo source: g2.com
As the app owners claim, “Canvas is the LMS (Learning Management System) that makes teaching and learning (and implementation and adoption and customer support and student success and bragging to your non-Canvas-using peers) easier.”
It is highly recommended by teachers to teachers as a highly accessible tool (you can learn anywhere anytime!) and easy to use. You can create courses inside, make tests & grade them, and give assignments to your peers. If you want to start your journey with learning environments - CanvaS is worth trying out!
Photo source: g2.com
This is a truly revolutionary educational app that enables you to find a teacher from all around the world without leaving your house! Do you want to learn Danish? You can - just look for the right person, by checking his/her grade & experience. You can create here an account both as a student and as a tutor and start teaching whatever you know best. Thanks to beautiful and intuitive design it is very eye-catching and pleasant to use.
#3 Google Classroom
Photo source: g2.com
This tool is purely dedicated to run your classes online through video calls. It enables you to invite your students to a private room, where nobody will break uninvited & disturb your classes. It’s a strictly communicating tool, and the factor that it is designed by Google is a huge plus, as many students already use Google Open Office set of tools. What teachers especially praise among this software educational advantages is its easiness to use - which is very important, when you run classes for people of different ages & levels of technological advancement.
This Learning Management System is a super-easy, cloud software to train your employees, partners, customers, or students. Explore all your options and deliver awesome online training courses through it! Teachers praise the TalentLMS high level of customization which enables you to adjust you highly to your needs.
#5 PowerSchool SIS
Photo source: g2.com
This educational software is a very popular teaching science (and other subjects) tool supporting over 30 million students in over 70 countries! PowerSchool helps schools and districts efficiently manage instruction, learning, grading, attendance, assessment, analytics, state reporting, special education, student registration, and Finance & HR. It’s simple, usable, and easy to navigate. It also has got some automation features when it comes to grading your students' work. Worth trying out!
Photo source: g2.com
This type of software very much supports school management. Standards, grades, lesson plans, communication tools, reporting, and more — all in one integrated platform. Gradelink is entirely internet-based so you and your staff can work anywhere, making it ideal for bolstering distance learning - that’s especially helpful in the current situation with COVID-19 that we all struggle with. The biggest minus I see in this specific software is its outdated design - yet, if you are looking for functional educational software, and care less about how it looks you should check it out by yourself!
Photo source: g2.com
This software enables you to control your students, whether they are focusing on your classes or not. It allows you to see their screens and block apps that you don’t want them to be used (for example Facebook or YouTube). Thanks to it, you can even conduct exams without the fear, that your students will Google their answers right away. Definitely valuable, when you want to check their level of knowledge remotely!
This very approachable educational software thanks to some social features enables you to easily communicate not only with your students - but with their parents as well! As the app owners claim, 95% of U.S. schools are already using ClassDojo to engage kids and connect with families! And it’s free - forever.
Photo source: kahoot.com
Remember as I said, that most of the students look for fun in education software? Kahoot is a perfect answer to that need! Through this app, you can create fun learning games in minutes (they are called kahoots), made from a series of multiple-choice questions. As gamification is proven to be one of the most successful ways of learning new things - this app is one of my personal favorites! ;) And as a content specialist, I admire how easy it is to create quizzes in it.
Photo source: g2.com
What strikes you at first when you open this app content is that it kinda reminds… an old Facebook design ;) It’s plain, it’s simple and has a social vibe. Schoology, as part of PowerSchool, creates a comprehensive unified classroom solution to empower teachers with personalized learning functionality, improving education outcomes for all students. Science, language, English classes - you name it! Nearly 2,000 K-12 school districts are already leveraging Schoology to advance what is possible in education.
How to build your own educational software?
According to the Top Universities Worldwide ranking, the best school right now is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States. And one of the reasons why it's like that is the high level of technology usage that the University has been implementing for years. And right now, when you are 18 - 19 (typical age when people decide on their higher education path) you already know, that the knowledge you will gain at the University will be outdated before you manage to get your degree done.
That's why when applying to schools, Generation Z is taking a deeper look at how technologically advanced is the place they will spend the very important part of their young - adult lives. They don't want to waste their time on studying books, which won't teach them anything usable. Also as parents of grandparents - we all care deeply about providing our children or grandchildren with the best education to make sure, they will do fine in the world, where we'll not always be able to help them. This all togethers clearly shows, that educational software is not a "nice addition" in our modern world anymore - but a must-have.
Even though there is plenty of ready solutions on the market - there is still room for some new web and mobile applications. Especially, if you work at a university, traditional school, or other places where the goal is to teach students something new - you can benefit from digital transformation using public funds. There are various programs like Get Ed Funding or Office of Educational Technology that will eagerly involve you in funding your application if you only prepare a solid background & research.
The idea only is not enough - but we can help you with getting a lot more and surpass your competitors! As Railwaymen software house we've launched a one of a kind Business Consultancy service called Discovery Phase. Besides many benefits DP includes: verifying your app idea, preparing thorough market research, determining the right monetization strategy, preparing your app's basic designs, and developing entire technical documentation for your educational software.
The goal is simple: prepare everything what is needed, to give a strong base for your software, attract investors, acquire funding and then, build a successful educational application that will become as popular as Duolingo!
To everyone who wants to see some Discovery Phase real-life examples, prepared on a specific app idea: download our new FREE Ebook below!
You will learn from it:
- why Discovery Phase is crucial, to succeed with your app idea,
- how it helps to acquire funding from VCs and Angel Investors
- and why you need it, to prepare solid background for your future software development process.
There is plenty of educational software already available on the market - yet it doesn’t mean that all of the students & teachers' needs have been fulfilled by them. In my opinion, the potential for the growth of this specific kind of software is enormous.
People educational needs vary greatly independence of their age (are those apps above approachable for seniors? I’m not sure that all of them are), geolocalization (each country have its curriculum, and it’s hard to build one app that will serve all of them) or the subject they want to learn (could you learn a sign language by using education software? Now, not necessarily but in the future - why not?). I strongly believe that education software is a perfect area to use the advantages of custom app development.
You use some of those apps but feel that they are not enough? That something in them annoys you? That your relatives or family struggle to use them? Build your own one. And I’m sure that your users will be thankful for that. Because there are few areas that we are so eager to invest our time & money like education. Physical products come and go but skills and knowledge - those things will stay with you forever.