The Death Of The Textbook: How The Rising World Of Parenting And Education Apps Is Transforming Digital Learning

02/03/2017 15:17 GMT | Updated 03/03/2018 10:12 GMT

It's been a long time coming but we're starting to see a new dawn for educational resources. As the wider learning space moves towards more interactive and engaging platforms, traditional formats like the textbook are becoming outdated. New technologies continue to change the habits and expectations of consumers.

Millennial parents and their children are increasingly tech savvy and want access to educational and learning tools that act the same way as a product like Uber or Netflix, with the same level of user experience and quality they're already accustomed to. For educational products, this means fresh and innovative content. This new generation of parents are looking for beautiful resources that are pleasing to the eye, easy and fun to use with great on-boarding processes, and the ability to learn from how the child interacts with it to deliver a better learning experience.

At a time of exploding mobile media consumption by children, educational apps alleviate some of parent's primary screen-time concerns. Educational apps have created a space where children can interact with educational content in a way that suits them - personalised, fun, adaptive and on the go - while giving parents peace of mind. Parents feel reassured knowing their children are making the most of their screen time development-wise, while also offering their children a more entertaining and fun learning experience. In essence this has the ability to introduce learning and development tools in a child's routine, while offering parent visibility.

The market of digital learning and its various verticals has grown rapidly. Today, educational apps are the third largest segment in the appstore - accounting for nearly 10% of all apps - and going forward the market is forecasted to increase at an annual growth rate of 28% until 2020. Companies such as Tinybop, age of learning, Hopster, and Duolinguo are currently leading the way in creating amazing learning experiences.

The primary reason for the growth is that these tools have the ability to offer both families and schools a more fun, entertaining, engaging interaction for youngsters with better user experience. Using the codes and mechanics of other digital experiences to their advantage, educational apps can capture and retain children's attention better than a book could. Furthermore, digital experiences can be interactive and personalised, two key aspects of powerful learning experiences which cannot be replicated with paper based media. The added benefit of clear reporting tools allows teachers and parents to have an insight into the child's progress and further fuel the growth of digital learning.

Recent reports have shown more than 25% of US schools have 1:1 device ratios, with many more using tablets or chromebooks and various digital services to augment their teaching. These applications enable teachers to be more productive through classroom management tools, engage their students and introduce interactivity into their routines, better track students' progress by leveraging data analytics, and strengthen communication with the parents and children. As a result they allow teachers and schools to close the loop between key stakeholders in a child's education, thereby increasing a child's chance of success in a more efficient and engaging manner both in and outside of school.