When we decided to develop an educational app store for Clevertouch Plus interactive touchscreens, people thought we needed our heads examined. Looking back, it was a logistical minefield. The financial and legal ramifications alone were mind boggling and that was before we’d considered how to build the platform, or started developing our own range of educational apps, or begun wooing branded apps into collaborating on upscaled editions to sit in Cleverstore alongside them.
As we approach the launch of Cleverstore 2.0, with its with advanced subject filtering for K-12 students and new language options to satisfy our users around the world, I’m immensely proud of what we achieved…but I’m not surprised by its success.
From the development of smartphones and the iPad, application software has exploded and nowhere are they more popular than education. Google, which has invested heavily in developing its own learning ecosystem and educational application software, noticed that use of its apps among students in the USA doubled from 10 million to 20 million users between 2010 and 2012. These figures have grown significantly with the introduction of Google enabled laptops and Chromebooks, which use apps to send emails, browse the internet, stream media and create documents in Google Docs.
This trend is reflected in Europe too, where thousands of schools (and parents) are using apps to create engaging lessons quickly, aide revision, support homework and cement key skills like phonics, writing and numeracy.
As the top three app stores in the world are commercial enterprises, some schools are only recently starting to make allowances for apps in their school budgets and this really is essential to making apps in education work. Free apps in Google Play or Apple’s App Store typically contain advertising and in-app purchases, which unlock premium functionalities or more advanced levels. This isn’t ideal in the classroom setting, which is why we decided to only stock premium apps in Cleverstore that had been cleansed of distracting ads. Furthermore, to encourage adoption and accessibility to all the vetted educational apps in Cleverstore, we made the decision that every apps would be free to the users of our educational touchscreens.
From the end of January 2017, new Clevertouch interactive displays will not only come with Snowflake MultiTeach® licenses for apps & software, but also exclusive Snowflake MultiTeach® Lessons for any connected web based devices at no additional cost. This will enable teachers to create, upload and download lessons from the community page, which can be delivered to students’ personal devices, such as Chromebooks, any time, any place, anywhere.
The lines between apps and traditional software and the devices we use are blurring, which is no bad thing. Apps and touch technology are second nature to Generation Z and Clevertouch is privileged to work at the very forefront of its development in education.
Before heading to BETT 2017, take a look at our Classroom Technology Buyer’s Guide, which answers many of the burning questions teachers have about the latest interactive technology (https://archive.clevertouch.com/bett)