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Editor's note/This year, mobile Internet has become the darling of capital. In the Chinese investment industry "raise, investment, retreat" in the overall recession of the environment, mobile social, entertainment, E-commerce and other areas of competition has been extremely fierce. Capital appears more cautious. But instead of weakening their focus on the mobile internet, they are looking at some of the more cutting-edge areas where mobile online education is moving into the realm of capital. In the personalized and fragmented mobile applications, can education occupy a place and scale? This is a question worth discussing.
Mobile education first began in the field of early education, and gradually expanded to the field of adult education. In the first half of 2012, the main education field of social interaction, "chalk nets" products have not yet been online has won the IDG million Yuan investment; "VIPABC" by Qiming Venture to invest 15 million U.S. dollars to expand the Chinese market, help recite the word "extension" to obtain the Xiaoping funds Angel investment. In the "cold winter" of capital, the enthusiasm of capital shows the potential of mobile application in education field fully.
Mobile education under the "era of fragmentation"
"Future use of fragmented time learning, situational and high real-time interactivity in mobile platforms will be the focus of this area." ”
Education industry is recognized as the "Money" field, the domestic authority of the investigation and statistics show that the national Family education services in consumer demand at least 100 billion yuan per year. Conco, marketing Director of the Chalk network, says the market opportunities for entrepreneurship in education are in two areas: first of all, education services are rigid demand, is an anti-economic cycle industry, not affected by the economic downturn, the more economic downturn, the education and training industry is more popular; second, this is a long tail market, the whole industry output value is very large, There is a great regional and expanding nature.
Theoretically, the huge user group and the stable expenditure make the education industry become a gold mine. However, in the field of education, the most successful listed are the traditional online education giants, such as the new Oriental, education, and so on, purely on-line Internet education companies rarely have success in capital markets.
VIPABC Group CEO Yang Zhengda said that the previous online education model is simply to the offline learning model of the curriculum, teaching materials on the Internet, to all learners have no difference in one-way cramming teaching, such services in the Internet is very easy to replicate, almost no threshold. This type of free service goes on and on, so it's hard for online education companies to build a stable profit model.
With the advent of mobile internet, capital began to put hope in mobile education. The first is the rapid popularization of intelligent mobile terminals, as at the end of 2011, China's smartphone holdings of 130 million, tablet computer (PAD) holdings of 30 million units. China Mobile will have over 520 million Internet users by the end of 2012, according to a report released by the research Center.
From the point of view of user demand and behavior pattern, the demand of vocational training is greatly increased, but the trend of time fragmentation is obvious. "The future of online learning on mobile platforms, the use of fragmented time learning, situational and high real-time interactivity will be the focus of this area of appeal." Yang Zhengda told reporters.
The application of mobile education to the traditional training and education industry a new development opportunities. Similar to the EF education training institutions, began to develop mobile application market into a new product output channel, extending the industry chain. "The innovation of future learning will be in the mobile arena," says Dr Enioohmaye, chief technology officer at EF Education. ”
Mobile education products are still in the groping period
Based on the social platform or a single application, the mode of extending service along the learning demand chain is the main product path.
At present, the domestic manufacturers of mobile education applications are divided into three categories. First, the original paper textbooks, the traditional publishers and educational content planning institutions of teaching and auxiliary products, such as the People's Teaching Society, the Institute of Foreign Affairs and so on; the second is that the original on the PC to do educational training or child education software development enterprises, such as VIPABC Education Group, horn Education, mobile Internet to create new opportunities for them Third, some pure Internet background engineer Team, they have the technical strength, but in the traditional education content development lack of experience, such as Innovation Workshop investment music Dolphin technology and so on. Of course, there are a lot of individual developers who are weak.
From the view of product form, there appears the resource docking mode based on social platform, or the product path of the service which is extended along the learning demand chain with single application as the cut-in point.
To "chalk nets" as an example, provides an educational trainer and learner's online communication platform, the introduction of mobile clients, in a similar form of micro-bo, to do teachers and students exchange platform, "the future hope that students open mobile phone clients can find in the side of the teacher." Conco told reporters.
In fact, in the field of education, teacher resources in addition to the training of the school has been lack of real marketing channels, teaching level and style only by word-of-mouth dissemination, which caused the teacher and students information asymmetry. The purpose of the chalk net is to allow the teacher to be promoted, so that students can find their own satisfaction with the teacher. It is understood that the chalk online after the line to attract the postgraduate, examination of civil servants, the judicial examination, the test abroad, such as more than 50 subjects, including the new Oriental teachers even a group of famous.
From the perspective of the extension of the education and training of PC, the VIPABC mobility strategy is to extend the reality-based interactive teaching to the mobile terminal. Yang Zhengda introduces that one of the product strategies E in VIPABC on a mobile platform is to develop in the direction of fragmentation learning, and to separate and complement the scheduled, long time courses on the PC platform.
Traditional PC learning behavior in various stages, including "Preview" "Learning" "Practice" "review" and so on, there are corresponding mobile applications. A 10-minute session with a short period of time, personalized and situational content recommendations, embodies the mobility of "fragmented learning."
In addition, the development of a single application has attracted more and more individual developers and entrepreneurs to join, "cloud word" "extension word" "Hundred words chop", as well as "deep practice English" all from the English word learning to become the user's Auxiliary learning tool.
In the domestic market, users do not form a mature application download payment habits. Therefore, the development of educational content on the App Store does not make money.
Although the "mobile Internet ecology" is the future trend, but does not form, which has set a lot of obstacles and uncertainties for the development of current educational application products.
Yang Zhengda thinks, at present, the function of mobile application is only to fill the mainstream education vacancy, the user this kind of mobile platform usually do is to see lesson, not attend a class. And from the infrastructure, to achieve online mobile learning also need wireless bandwidth, timely interactive technology to improve.
Educational applications, while acquiring a large number of users on the App Store, are not many users who really want to pay. Especially in the domestic market, users do not form a mature application download payment habits. Therefore, the development of educational content on the App Store does not make money, which is a problem that puzzles all developers.
The scale is also a challenge, this kind of application although the user has the demand, but the education application is facing with the offline traditional education robs the user, with many online entertainment application clock's double challenge. Low awareness of innovation, once there is a popular application online, there will be a large number of later to imitate, the industry is the first product of the homogeneity of the problem. Homogenization leads to difficulty in scale and the life cycle of educational applications is very short.
Innovation Workshop investment manager Analysys bluntly, the current mobile education is still facing the problem of unclear patterns. Can not find a model to form a scale, you can not make money. and strong explosive force, high growth is the focus of investors. Another focus of attention in the field of mobile education is Team balance, background matching. Entrepreneurship in the field of education, the team must have a mobile internet people with education resources, people with educational resources also need to be a good product manager or research and development staff, which is actually a high threshold.
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