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Step-By-Step Guide To Building An Educational App
Step-By-Step Guide To Building An Educational App

In this article we’ll give you the main features that we recommend you use when building an app for your school or educational service.

Tim Tietz avatar
Written by Tim Tietz
Updated over a week ago

What Is The Recipe For Building An Educational App

Many people want to build an app for various reasons. In this article we’ll give you a run down of how to build an educational app in our system, including what are the best features to use in our system for your app! 

Decide Which Feature You Want To Use As Your Home Screen

Before you can start building your app, you need to start with a home screen feature. The home screen feature is the first thing that users see when they open your app. Some of the most widely used home screen features are:

The Folder Feature

The Folder feature is the most used feature in our system. It helps you organize your app with the ability to house folders within other folders thus allowing you to quickly and easily decide on a layout for your app.

The Action Items Folder Feature

The Action Items Folder is similar to the regular folder in how it’s used to house the features of your app, but if you’re looking for something with a different look than any of the layout options of the regular Folder feature, then this may be the feature for you.

The Catalog & Promote Folder Feature

The Catalog & Promote Folder allows you to promote key entries in it by adding a badge next to an item and you have the option to send out a push notification when promoting an item. 

The Grid Layout Launcher Feature

The Grid Layout Launcher feature allows you to display the other features in your app in a grid. While you have less layout options than the Folder feature, using a grid layout is a tried and true method for providing navigational options for your users.

How To Create An Instance Of A Feature And Assign It As Your App’s Home Screen Feature

Once you’ve decided on which feature you’re going to use as your app’s home screen you’ll need to create an instance of that feature and assign it as your app’s Home Screen. Here’s how to do this:

How To Create An Instance Of A Feature

Step 1: Go to the Feature Marketplace

Step 2: Locate the Feature that you want to use

You can either scroll through all of the features available in the Marketplace, or search for the feature you want to use.

Step 3: Click On The Add (“+”) Button

Step 4: Give it a Title and click “Add” again

How To Assign A Feature As Your Home Screen Feature

Once you have decided on the feature that you’d like to use as your home screen and have created an instance of it, here’s how to assign it as your home screen feature:

Step 1: Click on the Hamburger Menu at the right of the Feature Content Editor

Step 2: Select “Set As Home Plugin”

Build Out Your App By Adding Additional Features

Now that you’ve assigned a feature as your Home Screen feature, you’ll need to build out your app using additional features found in our system so that your users can have a more complete app experience. Here’s some features in our system that we recommend you use:

Features To Help You Organize Your App 

As we mentioned earlier, Folders are a great way to help keep your app organized. With the ability to house folders within folders, we recommend that you use either the Folder, Action Item Folder, or Catalog & Promote Folder features to organize your app.

You can use the Folder features to layout different areas of your app such as Courses, School Information, Events, and Social Media links.

Features To Help Enhance The Learning Experience

One of the main focuses of an Educational app is to give your students access to content that can help enhance their learning experience. There’s a number of features that you can use to give them access to this content, some of the ones that we recommend are:

The Seminar & Lecture Notes feature is one of the most used features in Educational apps in our system. This is a great feature that gives you the ability to provide access to digital classes and lectures with the added bonus that users can bookmark their favorite or most important lessons and add their own personal notes to each one.

The Media Center Manual feature is another widely used feature that allows you to include multiple types of media in one feature. These can be anything from videos, audio recordings, or links to slides.

Another alternative to the Seminar & Lecture Notes and Media Center Manual features, are the YouTube and Vimeo features which give you the ability to bring your online videos into your app if you have accounts for those pages.

You can also use the Text WYSIWYG feature to provide information to your users such as class syllabuses, your school’s mission, lesson plans, or your school’s history. You can also use the Folder feature which will allow you to include all of this same information, but over and above that, include all of the related features. One example of this could be creating a Folder called “Art 101” and inside that Folder’s WYSIWYG editor you include information about the class, as well as include a Seminar & Lecture Notes feature with all of the lessons for that class, and/or an Events Manual feature with all of the due dates and class times for that class.

Along with these features we have the perfect feature for Educational apps in the form of the Flashcards feature allows you to create flashcards in your app. This can be extremely useful for students of all ages from learning letters and numbers, to advanced calculus.

Features To Help People Get To Know More About Your Institution & Help With Communication

The other main focus of an Educational app is to provide an additional way for parents and students to stay connected with their school. Some of the features that can help you with this are:

The People feature allows you to give parents information about your staff. Be they the teachers, administrative staff, or your school’s coaches, you can use the People feature to allow your staff to tell your users a bit more about themselves, as well as provide their contact information.

A great alternative to the People feature is the Contact Us feature which you can use as a way to provide your users with your contact information, as well as directions to your campus’ location. You can also use the Contact Us feature as a way to provide emergency contact information.

If your school has multiple locations, or you’re building an app for a school district instead of an individual school, we recommend using the Places 2.0 feature which provide your users with directions to all of your campus’ locations.

If you would like to share photos from events during the year you can use the Image Gallery to show off these photos to your app’s users. With the Image Gallery you can also organize the images into folders which is perfect for keeping your sports photos separate from your drama classes’ play photos. You can also use this feature to show potential future students what your campus(es) looks like.

If your school has a blog with an RSS feed, you can use the Media Center RSS Feed feature to bring in the blog posts into your app. This can be perfect if you have themed blogs such as sports updates, or school-wide announcements.

Another great feature that can help keep people connected and encourage communication between your students, their parents, and you is the Premium Social Wall feature. With this feature users can talk amongst themselves in a group conversation, as well as have one-on-one talks with each other. With this feature your teachers and staff can answer students and their parents’ questions. You can also use this feature to provide real time announcements as everyone who is subscribed to the social wall will receive a push notification when a new post is added to it.

Along with these great features you can also showcase your social media pages with our social media features. You can use the Facebook feature to point your customers to your Facebook page. You can also use our Twitter feature to point your customers to your Twitter feed and our WebView feature to point your customers to your Instagram. You can also use the Folder feature as a “Social Media” folder to house all of these features within so that when your customers tap on that folder they’ll be brought to all of your social media features.

You can also use the Share App feature to give your users a way to share your app with their friends and family which is a great way to organically grow your user base and help ensure that all families that attend your school have your app!

Events & Scheduling Features

Chances are during the school year you’ll host different events. These can be anything from sports games, drama plays, prom, or exams. We have two features to help you bring these events into your app and they are the Events Feed and Events Manual features. The Events Feed pulls your events from an iCal feed, and the Events Manual gives your the ability to manually add events to your app. With these features your users can learn about these events and add them to their own personal calendars on their phones.

If your teaching staff want to give students and parents a way to schedule some one-on-one time to go over lessons, additional tutoring, or ask questions, then we recommend using either Calendly or If you decide to sign up for one of these services, or already have accounts with them, you can use the Calendly and features to bring your scheduling calendars into your app. If you have a scheduling system in another service, you can use the WebView feature to bring that into your app.

If you need a way for people to sign up for events, complete surveys, or enroll their child in your school, you can use the TypeForm, JotForm, or Google Forms features for this. What we recommend is taking a look at all three services to determine which one will work best for you based on what you’re using that form for.

You Can Collect Donations & Sell Products In Your App

If you’re a non-profit organization, chances are you rely on donations in order to stay running. With the WebView feature you can send users to your donation page where they can give to your organization, or want to help with unexpected costs. 

Note: in order for your app to be in compliance with Apple and Google’s current app store guidelines, you’ll need to make sure that the WebView is set to “Device’s Default Browser”. Otherwise there’s a chance that your app will be rejected and you’ll be asked to make this change.

If you would like to have an online store with school souvenirs, learning supplies, or textbooks, we encourage you to use Shopify for your store. If you decide to use Shopify, you can use our Shopify 2.0 feature to bring it into your app.

Assign Your Most Important Features To Your App’s Side Menu

For your most important features, we encourage you to add them to your app’s Side Menu as well for ease of access for your users. Here’s how you can make those features accessible in the Side Menu:

Step 1: Go To The Side Menu Page Found Under The Design Tab

On the left-hand side of the App Dashboard you’ll see a menu with a couple of options, the “App Components” tab being one of them. Click on that to expand it then click on “Side Menu” to access the Side Menu’s controls:

Step 2: Click On “Add Existing Feature” In the “Menu” Section Of The Side Menu Page

Clicking on “Add Existing Feature” will bring up a list of all of the features that you’ve built for your app. Select the feature that you want to add to the side menu by selecting the feature and clicking “Apply”.

This will add these features to your app’s Side Menu so that users can quickly and easily access them as they’re shopping in your app.

You Can Charge Users To Download Your App Or Offer In App Purchases And Subscriptions

If you’re not a school or a college and you’d like to make some revenue from your educational app, you can do this by either charging users to download it from the app stores, or offer in-app purchases and subscriptions. 

Charging users to download the app will mean that they will pay a one-time fee to download your app, while offering in-app purchases and subscriptions allows you to lock premium content behind a paywall. We highly recommend that you choose one option or the other, as Apple and Google can be extremely strict on apps that charge users to download them and include in app purchases or subscriptions.

 If you would like to learn more about how to set these up, we encourage you to check out our article on how to turn your app into a revenue stream.

Note: In order to take advantage of in-app purchases or subscriptions, you will need to be on our Professional or Enterprise level plans.

Congratulations! You know have all of the steps needed to build an app for your Educational app! Still have questions? No problem! Reach out to us and we’d be happy to help!

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