Homeschooling during the pandemic, parents turn to mobile apps for help
May 14, 2020
Many schools and daycares across the globe will be closed for the remainder of the academic year. This means parents everywhere are facing similar pressure to become full-time caretakers and teachers, many while juggling full-time jobs.
As a mother working remotely and pursuing a degree, I am deep in the trenches myself. That’s why I’ve been relying on educational/learning apps during quarantine to keep my child occupied (and stay sane). According to our data, it looks like I am far from alone. Let’s take a look at some of the big players in the space...
Early Childhood Apps
As soon as the quarantine started, early childhood learning apps saw a massive increase in downloads. ABCMouse downloads spiked in March, up approximately 112% from February. Speech Blubs Language Therapy saw an increase of 52% and IK: Learning Games for Kids jumped 82%.
One exception to this growth was Nickelodeon’s Noggin Preschool Learning App, which saw a 22.53% decrease in downloads MoM.
March was also a big month for reading apps. We saw notable increases in downloads MoM for Duolingo ABC (+618%), Epic (+216%), ReadingIQ (+117%), and Reading Eggs (+40%).
Heading into April, daily active users (DAU) continued to grow for these apps too. Compared to March, Duolingo ABC’s average DAU increased 2,625% in April, Epic’s +74%, Reading Eggs’ +48%, and Reading IQ 25%.
Communication Platforms for K-12
Communication platforms facilitate communication between teachers, students, and parents. For apps that are prominent in the U.S., downloads increased right after the lockdown started on March 16. Remind, TalkingPoints, ClassDojo, and Seesaw were the apps that saw the most significant spikes.
Seesaw and TalkingPoints had the highest growth in terms of both downloads and DAU. Comparing February to March, Seesaw increased downloads 275% and total DAU 40%; TalkingPoints increased downloads 625% and total DAU 337%. Progressing to April, Seesaw increased downloads 16% and total DAU 137% MoM; TalkingPoints increased downloads 83% and DAU 235% MoM. However, as you can see below, TalkingPoints is very small in comparison to its peers, so its growth appears to be nominal.
Looking at popular apps abroad, we see large spikes in downloads in the month of March for WeSchool in Italy, Schul.Cloud in Germany, and Blink Learning in Spain in the month of March - 4,426%, 1,179%, and 395%, respectively. Edmodo seems to have their largest market share in Indonesia, Mexico, and Egypt. Their downloads in March increased 404%. And, of course, DAU continued to grow through April for the apps mentioned above.
Learning apps that help gamify learning for elementary-aged children also saw significant growth. Downloads increased for IXL Learning 72%, Quiziz 60%, and Kahoot! 13%. Then, consistent with our other findings, we saw notable DAU increases in April. IXL Learning grew DAU 26%, Quiziz 32%, and Kahoot! 4%.
In this group, the exception was Quizlet, which declined by measure of downloads and DAU for both March and April. Then again, with school out of session, there are just less quizzes to study for.
Schools and families are investing more in education apps as in-person learning is on hold. March brought on the spike in downloads and April brought on the spike in engagement (DAU). And it was reading and communication platform apps that appeared to have the most dramatic increases in performance.
It will be interesting to see how this edtech space shapes up post-pandemic. Do you think learning apps will become a new classroom or at-home staple? Let's chat!
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