Learn Something New With An App

Boost your cognitive skills with the help of fun, interactive games!  The September  Report features several brain-boosting apps to help you improve your focus, memory and much more.  Some of the best educational apps have been created to serve as an additional resource for students participating in more structured education programs.  Students in traditional education programs or taking online classes can access a bevy of mobile supplements to their education, including:

  • Examination study aids, from the Bar Exam for law students to NCLEX study guides for nurses.
  • Cliff’s Notes, Spark Notes, and other quick guides to literature.
  • Calculators, unit converters, and other tools for speeding up difficult work in math and science courses.

Plenty of apps also cater to independent learners who are not taking structured courses.  From pocket atlases to games for learning a second language, there are educational apps for every conceivable subject.  Listed here are some of the most widely used, highly respected, and most feature-packed education apps for iOS and Android.  The order of the list shouldn’t be construed as a ranking.  The apps are grouped topically, and every single one offers marvelous opportunities for intellectual stimulation and growth.

Babbel™ (Free for iOS, Android, Windows Phone. Upgrade subscription starting at $11.99 per month) is an award-winning app that offers an interactive way to learn a language.  The lessons are broken into short classes you can watch during your lunch break, while you’re in line at the store or anywhere time allows.  Since your lessons are saved in the cloud, you can sync across multiple devices.

Lumosity™ (For Web, iOS and Android. Upgrade subscription starting at $11.99 per month) helps you challenge your brain with scientific games tailored specifically to you.   The program allows you to test your performance to gauge how well your cognitive skills are improving.  Those with a competitive streak can compare their results with other members.

Rosetta Stone® Fit Brains Trainer (Subscription prices vary. Available for iOS and Android) features fun, stimulating games to challenge six major areas of your brain: focus, memory, speed, logic, visual and language.  The format resembles a video game, which may help you stay focused.  The games become increasingly difficult the more you play them. Although an account is free, you’ll have to subscribe to access the more challenging games.

Khan Academy (Free) The makers of this app say “Khan Academy allows you to learn almost anything for free.” There does seem to be a vast array of topics covered in the 3,000 plus videos on the app.  You can learn math, biology, chemistry, physics, finance, history…. Ideal for students, teachers or for adult education.

Perfect Ear (Free, $.99 for the Pro version) You haven’t picked up your keytar since Devo was whipping it real good.  So before you try to get the band back together, you might want to brush up on the difference between a major third and a perfect fifth.  Check out Perfect Ear to run through dozens of quizzes that will help you recognize the chords and scales you’re going to need to compose your next J-pop-jazz-baroque fusion classic.  All the music is played on a real piano for that authentic sound, and you can even tune your pipes with built-in voice recognition.

Exam Vocabulary Builder by AccelaStudy (Free) Using AccelaStudy’s intuitive flashcard-like approach on your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, you can quickly expand your English vocabulary for graduate school exams, university entrance exams, professional advancement, or simply increased language proficiency. Many commonly tested vocabulary words from college and graduate school entrance exams are included with definitions, synonyms, and example sentences. Easily learn new terms with four different ways to study, including a powerful quiz feature which helps you test your progress and a spaced repetition mode which helps you memorize words in the shortest possible time.

Enhance Your Learning With These Other Options Udemy, Coursera and EdX are online learning programs offering apps to help their students access courses from anywhere using smartphones and tablets. TED, also has an app to make it easier to access your favorite inspiring and educational talks.


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