Stack the States. BrainPOP. Presidents vs. Aliens. ABC Mouse. Tynker. What three key elements do they all have in common? First, they make learning fun. Second, they deliver pedagogically sound educational content. Third, they are premium apps that earn money.

The success of apps like these demonstrate an essential lesson that publishers must learn and practice to stay viable: delivering traditional content digitally isn't enough to meet the needs of today's learners. Instead, today's learners expect content that's engaging, personalized, and fun, similar to the experiences they have with popular apps and software.

I learned this through personal experience with my own son. By the end of 5th grade, American students are expected to have memorized all 50 US states and their capitals and they are then tested by filling in a blank map. For my 5th grader, the idea of memorizing all 100 names seemed daunting, not to mention, incredibly boring. His teacher tested the class three times throughout the year, and after the second test my son still achieved less than a 30% accuracy rate. As his parent, I realized that staring at a map was not going to help him succeed with this assignment, so I did a little research, and learned about an app called "Stack the States", which challenges users to match states to their capitals, flags, trivia, and geography, with a fun twist: with each correct answer, users stack that state on top of others, until reaching the top and "winning" a state (this repeats until the user "wins" all 50 states). After using this app for a few months, my son was confident that he had mastered this topic. Not only did he know the geographic locations of the states and the names of their capitals, he also learned their state flags and other interesting facts about each state. When he received the results from his final test, we found that not only did he pass with a 98%, but his attitude towards the subject went from frustration to elation, all thanks to an engaging app. 

My son's experience provides a positive potential lesson for publishers about how to create engaging content -- and companies like Metrodigi are well-equipped to help! Our team offers expertise in software development and instructional design, to help publishers develop digital-first educational content that will meet the needs of today's learners. Stay tuned for our next post, which will include a list of 4 tips for delivering educational content that is engaging, personalized, and fun for today's learners.