“Educational” is a broad term. When it comes to mobile apps, there’s a diverse range of software that falls under the umbrella of education, with offerings encompassing both first and third-party developers.
You could peruse the top educational offerings in any app store, but locating the best ones — and those that aren’t merely a fad — is more difficult than you think. Some are tailored for high school students, some for soon-to-be college graduates, and other still, are more apt for those who provide an education or those who still pine for knowledge long after school lets out for summer.
Whether you’re specifically looking for ways to exercise your mind, organize your coursework, or expand your knowledge on King Matthias Corvinus’ role in the Hungarian Renaissance, there’s more than one app specifically designed to get the job done. Then again, no app is truly tailored for exploring the global repercussions of the Renaissance. I guess you’ll simply have to settle for our favorites below.
Dictionary.com’s app is exactly what its name implies. You can look up nearly any word in existence and whether you need a dictionary or thesaurus, you’ll find what you’re looking for. It even has a regional map of trending searches in your area. And who doesn’t like a elucidative word of the day?
Designed by neuroscientists, Lumosity hones your memory and attention to detail through an eclectic variety of mind games. It’s meant to improve your core cognitive abilities, whether you’re matching tiles after briefly viewing them or swiping in the direction of a single bird within a flock.
We’ve touted Evernote more than once. The free productivity app gives you the tools for taking photos, crafting notes, creating to-do lists, and recording voice reminders, all of which you can tag for additional organization. The app even syncs content across multiple devices.
We all know Wikipedia. The site’s official app provides access to the encyclopedia’s catalog of more than 32 million disputable articles, each of which is offered in more than 280 languages. It has additional options for quickly sharing articles on social networks like Twitter or saving for offline use.
Lined with more than 200 free courses covering more than 20 subject areas (music, science, etc.), Coursera allows you to engage in a variety of courses from a slew of top-tier universities and institutions around the globe. Enroll in classes, stream and download lectures, and watch content on your own time.
It’s rare that an organization truly makes you think. The TED app lets you peruse more the entire library of more than 1,700 TED Talks videos, introducing you to intriguing presentations and revolutionary ideas from education radicals, tech geniuses, business gurus, musical legends, and the like.
Education can be expensive. Fortunately, Khan academy provides more than 4,000, free downloadable videos, so you can brush up on everything from K-12 math and earth science to art history and computer science. You can also track your progress and unlock basic achievements.
Studying is the mainstay of an education. With StudyBlue, you can create and share a plethora of mobile flashcards, study guides, and quizzes, or choose from the an extensive collection of student-authored flashcards and flashcard decks. Afterward, accept the score you earn or try again to top it.
Simply put, the iCloud-abetted Notability lets you take notes in a variety of forms. With Notability, you can sketch ideas, annotate uploaded documents, sign contracts, and complete worksheets in addition to other actions. You can also format documents, using the app’s advance word processor.
Apple’s iTunes U showcases the world’s largest digital catalog of free education content. Instructors from leading universities such as Stanford and Yale teach the assorted courses and divvy out assignments, providing resounding material for you to take notes on and share with your friends and family.
Amount is an app that belongs in more than one best-of list. It’s a gorgeous unit converter, loaded with more than 500 different units and a real-time history log. Conversions even span 30 different categories, from angles to energy, all of which are housed within a customized list.
Moreso a tool for organizing your education than receiving it, Dropbox allows you to access all your photos, documents, and videos on nearly any device. You’re given 2GB upon signing up, with options for styncing and adding files to your favorite list for offline viewing on the go. It’s very useful for sharing files.
As an augmented-reality app of sorts, Star Walk is an elegantly designed mobile stargazing app of the highest quality. The app follows your device’s movements in real-time, offering views and providing info on more than 200,000 stars, constellations, and other celestial bodies. Moreover, the app possess a remarkable calendar of celestial events and lets you view the night sky during different time intervals.
Learning a second language isn’t easy. The crowd-sourced Duolingo gives you the opportunity to translate real-world texts in your desired language of choice — i.e. Spanish, German, Brazilian, Italian. It can translate Web pages and other documents into many languages. It also offers language courses at all levels.
Queried by Apple’s Siri, WolframAlpha utilizes a vast collection of algorithms and data to answer any questions you might have about, well, anything. The knowledge engine is surprisingly accurate, culling answers from a variety of sources, with thorough instructions on how it arrived at the answer.
For most students, school doesn’t stop when you leave the campus grounds. Fortunately, Studious offers a quick method for organizing homework and exams via their due date, allowing you to see what’s on deck in the upcoming week and add assignments with a simple shake of your device. You can even use the app to jot brief notes and email your professors.
Any and every writer knows that bibliographies aren’t for the faint of heart. They’re less so with EasyBib, though, which is an app that functions as a basic citation generator. It allows you automatically create and export citations in a matter of seconds using more than 50 different source types, not mention more than 7,000 citation styles (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.).
You can think of the aptly-titled Due as a robust alarm clock, one that functions without an account or Internet connection. With Due, you can set reusable countdown reminders and implement both daily and weekly reminders that capitalize on nearly 60 alert tones. Moreover, reminders sync across your devices and automatically shift as you cross time zones.
In many ways, Learnist kind of acts like a social network for knowledge. You can browse an organized collection of text and video content, much of which is sequenced into lessons covering thousands of topics. Learnist has it all, too, whether you’re looking to learn a few movie-making points courtesy of Gus Van Sant or simply want some insight into the early life of artist Salvador Dali.
Everyone needs a scanner every now and again, especially if you’re one to take copious amounts of notes. Scanner Pro 6 lets you scan and convert physical documents into PDFs, which you can then email, print, or upload to your favorite cloud-based platform for further review. Best of all, the app can automatically detect edges and borders, keeping cropping to a minimum.
As the name implies, Quizlet is an app specifically tailored for marathon study sessions. It’s fairly no-frills, sure, but the rudimentary app allows you to create your own personal flashcards — using text, images, and audio — or browse a wealth of user-created quizzes spanning nearly any topic you can think of. The straightforward interface and setup process just adds to its appeal.