Teachers and librarians may feel like they’re drowning in a sea of educational apps. Developers feel the same way, with smaller shops lacking big marketing budgets unable to get their products in front of targeted users. Enter the Education Evaluation Program from Happi Papi.
The program, just launched, involves a consortium of developers who distribute apps to teachers and librarians free of charge.
“The Apple App store is getting so crowded that smaller developers are looking for ways to reach our targeted audience,” says Patrick Larsson, cofounder of Happi Papi, a two-man app shop.
Starting with just five developers, the Education Evaluation Program has pushed four apps out to date—Happi Papi’s own Happi 123, a math counting game, My First App – Vehicles, a puzzle game for pre-schoolers, easy Chinese writing, which offers simple steps for writing characters, and Tapikeo HD.
Larsson is pleased with the response. My First App – Vehicles, developed by the Munich-based appp media, has received 93 requests for a free download, and Larsson has seen his own sales rise, which he attributes to the program. Teachers and librarians can sign up online through a simple questionnaire. Thus far, sign-ups from educators to take part in the app trial have risen from 300 in April to 1,000 as of mid-May.
Kristin Heitmann, co-founder of appp media, believes those numbers will likely rise as the site makes it easier for educators to find apps then just browsing the App Store.
Teachers have so much to do, with their lessons, students, and parents, they can´t spend hours and hours searching the App Store,” she writes by email. “It’s easy to find just an app. But to find a good app, you will have to look for a while.”
Apple’s App Store has seen more than 25 billion downloads of apps, according to its site. The reasoning why some fail and some go viral can be mystifying. But not to Larsson who says those with deep marketing pockets can always get an audience. Even a free program comes with a price, as Apple only allows developers 50 free codes for each app. After that, developers have to pay if they plan to give their product away.
Larsson has developers clamoring to join the Education Evaluation Program, with 30 requesting membership just in recent weeks. Larsson requires that anyone who joins promote the program in some way, through Facebook, or their own website with small banner ads. He hopes to eventually offer archives of apps for educators to access.
“It’s a win-win situation,” says Larsson. “They don’t want to risk putting money on a dud product. And we want to get in front of a very motivated target audience.”