Succeeding in Education Technology

Hi, I'm Shazia Makhdumi from the
Google Play for Education team. I work with developers
like yourselves who are building great
Edu apps and help them be successful in Android. So you know that idea you have
for an amazing educational app, the one that will
change how kids think, empower them to build
totally new things, or even revolutionize how
a school is structured? I've got some good news about
your idea– its time has come. So in this video, I want
to share learnings and best practices from other
Edu app developers that will help you get
started on building a great educational app. Today, we're in a
disruptive moment in the evolution of education
content in schools and tools as you know well. It used to be nearly
impossible for small developers to get an educational
app into a school, no matter how amazing or
transformative it was. But with the Google Play
for Education marketplace, we've actually
made it easy to get your app into the hands of
educators that want to use it and for those
educators to get it into the hands of
their students. And for the record, that's a lot
of hands we're talking about. Currently, over 30 million
teachers and students worldwide use Google Apps for
Education, which means that Google can help
you have a huge presence. So as you can tell,
our team is really excited about this opportunity,
but more importantly educators are really excited
about what we're doing with Google
Play for Education, especially about the access to
enriching content for students as well as the tools
that help them be more productive in the classroom
so they can focus on teaching. Google Play for
Education already includes thousands of apps
ranging from curriculum supplements to help students
learn math and English and science, as well as how
to create videos, make a book, annotate notes. Teachers find tools that
help support students, create presentations, and even
manage classroom behavior. So thousands of apps in
Google Play for Education means thousands
of developers have built great educational
apps on Android. And they have a lot
of nuggets to share. So what we did was, we distilled
those into the top five tips that developers consider
the most important when building an education app. Their experience
is your advantage. Tip number one– users
will pay for quality, so get testers to submit
ratings and reviews early. One of the primary metrics
that users judge an app with is quality. And they use app star
rating to measure quality. When the star rating increases,
the purchase rate increases. And as you can
see, four star apps earn almost three times what
three star apps are earning. So to make sure that your
app's quality is reflected in the rating, ask
early evaluators of your app, especially
the educators, to submit their ratings
and reviews for it. Teachers really care about what
other teachers specifically think about an app
because that is a big factor in their
purchase decision. Tip number two– alpha and
beta test groups as well as staged rollouts help you
collect user feedback quickly. So instead of simply
publishing your newest app to the entire world,
Google Play allows developers to test the
app with small groups of alpha testers
or beta testers. And this is a great
opportunity for you to get feedback on
your app without it affecting its current rating. The folks who built Book
Creator invited 20 teachers to try the beta app
in the classroom. This gave them early
visibility into issues and also allowed them to test
on a wide variety of devices but within a
classroom environment. And they recommend for
paid apps like theirs, create a separate free version
just for the beta phase. Why? So that teachers don't have
to pay to test your app. Also, consider using staged
rollouts in Google Play to gradually push new features
and updates to a slow percent of the user base and
get their feedback. So if your rating
stays the same, great, roll it out to
more users and repeat. But what this does, it helps
you catch problems early before they can have a huge
impact on your ratings. Tip number three– we've
all heard the expression, you only have one chance
to make a first impression. So optimizing for
tablets from the start helps you make a good first
impression with your users. Given the growth of
tablets in schools, it's really important that
educational apps work well on tablets since that directly
impacts user experience, which then impacts purchase rates. For instance StudyBlue, an
online flash card creation app, did not initially test the
app on 10 inch devices. And what they found
was they had a lot of bugs especially related
to tablet specific issues around orientation and rotation. And usability was poor. So now that they
know that, they're actually using responsive layout
techniques such as fragments to build a multi-pane layout
for their tablet app, which allows them to
make additional use of the additional
tablet real estate, to minimize the
number of screens, and also to improve usability. They wish they had
known this and done this from the beginning. So learn from their mistake. Use core tablet guidelines
early and often. Make sure that your
app is optimized for tablets from the start. Tip number four–
designing for Android allows you actually
to stay engaged with users even when
the app is not open. So Google Play offers a lot
of Android specific design elements such as
rich notifications and widgets and live wallpapers. And what these do
is allows a user to be engaged with your app
even without them opening it. It's unlocking marketing
channels for your app, but without spending a dime
on expensive marketing. ClassDojo, which is a
classroom management app, actually took advantage
of notifications for ClassDojo messaging. And they found an increased
number of read messages. And now they're experimenting
with Jelly Bean's expanded notification and actions
to make the app even more useful to their core
audience, teachers, students, and parents. Similarly, developers at
Wunderlist for Education, which is an app for managing
to-do lists, integrated location reminders
to remind students to do their homework when
they're getting home. Not sure how much students like
that, but what they had found was reminders help keep the pace
of work and location reminders especially adapt to
a student's routine. Tip number five, something that
you probably know, but your app listing is really
important, maybe even more important
than you realize. Because remember,
your app listing is what helps attract
users and helps them understand how
to use your app. So create a compelling
listing with a clear title and descriptions. Use high-res shots and previews. A picture is worth
a thousand words. Use a great icon, because
that's what users will see first and remember about your app. It helps build your brand. But if a picture is
worth a thousand words, a video is actually worth
a thousand screenshots. StudyBlue found using
good videos in the listing to demo your app
features actually leads to better conversions,
since these days users are very attuned to watching videos
to learn how an app or a game works. So where possible, include
a video, especially one of your app being used
in a classroom setting, because that's
what's going to get students and educators
excited about your app. OK, I know I said
five tips, but I have a bonus tip or
self-evident truth. Be patient and be prepared
to dig in for the long haul. And as most of you have
probably discovered, the Edu app space is not
for the faint of heart. Agnitus, which is an adaptive
learning system for kids, cautions that Edu
app development needs time and resources
and stamina and commitment. Understand your customer, both
the one paying for the app as well as the one
consuming the app. Understand curriculum,
data, and analytics. Think about scalability, both
in the data structure side and on the database side. Intellijoy, a company that makes
math and English apps for kids, says to developers, resist
the temptation to "appify" a lot of textbook content. Instead, focus on making a
quality app or game because as tablet penetration ramps
up in schools, quality apps will rise to the top. So building a solid Edu app
will take significant planning, multiple types of resources
including education, engineering, domain, and design. But we've given you
all this information to make it as easy
as possible for you to bring your idea
to fruition sooner. So now that you know what to
do, what are you waiting for? Get started now. Visit
to get more information on the program as well as
access to helpful resources. We're really excited to
see how the apps you build will help educators and
students and really enable this next generation
of learning. Thank you.

One Comment

  1. Radu Savutiu said:

    Half of the stuff being said in here is absolutely the same things Google keeps talking about in all its presentations. It is a basic "How to publish an app" with little focus or examples on education. Most importantly, it does show PROCENTUAL differences between a 1 start app and a 5 start app, without specifying that even a 5 star app could make you very few money! 

    June 30, 2019

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *