Mistake 1: Not Enough Time Spent Inside iPad-enabled Classrooms
When you go into classrooms that are using iPads you discover the challenges faced by teachers including: app discovery (there are thousands of “educational” apps), app integration (how does this app supplement and support existing curriculum objectives), and app usage (how can this work in the classroom for independent play and group work). As an educational app developer it’s critical to understand the perspective of educators as well as those of the students. For example, while doing some play-testing with a grade 3 class I discovered that the scaffolding support in one of my math apps (Frog Hop) needed enhancement for a broader range of learners. Overall, I wasn’t in the classroom enough in 2013.
2014 Correction: Establish a more rigorous in-classroom program. I am currently in conversation with several educators to more rigorously test Tapfun apps that are available and in production. If you are an educator in a 1:1 classroom for Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade or Third Grade, please contact us here: firstname.lastname@example.org
App pricing is constantly evolving. As an educational app developer I need to take two different buyers into consideration: Parents and Educators. Parents are willing to pay for high-quality educational apps however there is less and less willingness to buy paid apps. Educators on the other hand can only purchase paid apps for their school (or school district) and those must offer the educational volume discount. Satisfying both of these customer segments requires experimentation and flexibility. In retrospect I did not run enough tests in this area.
2014 Correction: Segment pricing more effectively for parents and educators. Run more experiments to find the optimal price points for in-app purchases and paid apps.
In 2013 I began working with professional educational authors. I didn’t do enough on this front. While I released our first authored apps (Math Word Problems and Reading Comprehension Level C), there is a lot more to do here. Professional authors with experience in the classroom possess unique insights into student needs. Tapfun needs a broader roster of educational authors to successfully offer a range of materials that build on years and decades of experience.
2014 Correction: Establish a formal Tapfun authors program. I am currently in conversation with several authors and am looking for more. If you are passionate about authoring materials for tomorrow’s classroom, please contact us here: email@example.com
2013 was a year of growth for Tapfun. In 2014 by addressing these 3 mistakes we hope to better position the company for long-term success in the education market.