Too Cool for School – Education Apps

Feb 05, 2019
By: Marissa Camilli

For those of you who thought that smartphone apps were all about fun and games, you might be surprised to learn that the most populated area of the Google Play Store eco-system is the education category.

With more than 220,000 apps dedicated to learning, the smartphone is rapidly taking the place of the classroom as a place of education. This is particularly true in the realms of language tuition, coding, and “soft” business skills.

So what makes a good education app? We took a look at the top four apps in the education category in terms of downloads and revenue to learn how apps can be top of the class.

#1 – Duolingo: Learn Languages for Free

Ranked as the world’s most popular language tuition app, with nearly 7 million downloads on the Google Play Store, Duolingo helps students learn 37 languages in bite-sized chunks using gamification as its core teaching process. Despite being a relatively new name in language tuition (the service was launched in 2011), it quickly gained traction on more established names like Rosetta Stone by offering a 100 percent free learning environment. The app is monetized by advertising and in-app purchases of their premium (ad-free) service which also enables off-line use (handy for brushing up on those language skills on long haul flights).

Highlighting how success in the app eco-system can be a double-edged sword and why app monetization should be a priority for any app developer, CEO Luis von Ahn shared the costs of running a high profile app with the Duolingo community. Before rolling out its commercial model, the company was spending more than $42,000 every day on servers and employee salaries, etc.

Interestingly, Duolingo’s most popular language course is English for Spanish speakers with more than 60 million students. This is closely followed by Spanish for English speakers with an equally impressive 50 million students.

#2 – Udemy: Online Courses

Udemy is the leading online learning platform where students can study just about anything. From expert-led courses on programming skills such as Python and Java to business-related classes on marketing and design, and even hobby and lifestyle-related classes, there are more than 80,000 courses available to take via the app.

While the app is free to download, the vast majority of the courses available are paid for.

As Udemy creates an opportunity for anyone with a teachable skill to create video courses for the platform and pays a commission for any sales made, it has become a staple money-making component of many online entrepreneurs who actively promote their classes and the app via social media and other content-led marketing strategies.

Top Udemy instructors have generated millions of dollars in revenue by teaching on the app, and thousands of others have generously supplemented (or even replaced) their income via the app, and this has earned the company some great PR.   

#3 – Remind: School Communication

Remind is a communication platform used by more than 27 million educators, students, and parents in 95 percent of US public school districts. More than just a super-charged WhatsApp for schools, it allows teachers to communicate directly with individuals, small groups and entire classes, securely sharing photos, hand-outs, and other files.

The app is free to use for individual classes and has a premium paid service for school or district-wide use.

Due to the seasonal nature of the school year, Remind typically outperforms usually more popular apps including Gmail, Instagram, and YouTube for a few weeks every August as schools and districts onboard new students and parents to the app. 

#4 – Blinkist: Nonfiction Books

As part of your lifelong learning strategy, there are certain books that everyone in business should read – but seriously who has got the time. Blinkist provides a shortcut to be the best-read individual in the boardroom by condensing more than 2,500 influential book titles into powerful 15-minute reads or audiobook listens.

More than 7 million people have used Blinkist to broaden their horizons and gain a new perspective on life. As well as personal book recommendations by Blinkist’s editorial team, the app features curated reading lists by thought leaders including Arianna Huffington, David Allen, and Dan Ariely.

Blinkist’s mass appeal has been supplemented by high profile advertising campaigns on television as well as in the more traditional (for an app-based business) digital channels.

Learn how Digital Turbine Can Help Your Education App be Top of the Class

In such a busy category like education, rising to the top of the class can be a tricky thing. The app delivery experts at Digital Turbine can teach you how the smart kids are outpacing the competition by pre-loading their apps on specific devices and networks. Contact us today for a lesson you’ll never forget. 

Marissa Camilli
By Marissa Camilli
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