The advent of learning apps in our lives means that even studying has become more fun, through the careful guiding of smartphones and tablets. Adults may be conscious of this breakthrough, yet kids have always had it. For them, learning has always had a playful undertone. Here is a list of some of the most outrageously fun apps for kids (preferably over nine years of age) and moderately fun learning apps for adults. As one might expect, the majority of learning apps for kids prefer the subject of mathematics while adult apps are mainly geared to languages.
Fun Learning Apps for Children
- Earth Primer – scoring below average for versatility as it is only available for iPad, this app takes the future explorers as deep as the lithosphere and as far up as the atmosphere. One may learn the secrets of the great processes that govern life on earth, through the building of volcanoes or the (re)creation of the oceans and continents. By turning a basic geography textbook into a game complete with levels and challenges that stimulate children’s egos and imaginations, the developers at Chaim Gingold have probably created the best geography learning tool there is, for just $9.99.
- Let’s Do Mental Maths – is aimed at kids 10 and over, being available for iOS users for $2.99. It has been created with children’s psychology in mind, its chief quality being a proven increase in self-confidence for those who regularly use the app. Encompassing the basic mathematical operations – from addition to multiplication and fractions, with a little periodical help from Digit the Dog (in case you get stuck), the diverse layout of quizzes are both theoretical and practical in nature. There is also an option of racing against the clock.
- Medieval Math Battle – is for both Android and iOS users, and is as fun as they come. The player engages in melees with mythical creatures such as goblins or dragons, and can defeat them by correctly answering questions that have to do with the four elementary operations. To keep the kids hooked, upgrades for weapons and armor become available as the player are subjected to more difficult questions. It is initially free, however, more advanced segments of the game come with a small cost.
- Dumb Ways to Die – this more-than-comical game features a variety of ways one may perish, from fires to snakes to transportation-related accidents, in an attempt to teach children the art of cautiousness. It is not suitable for children under the age of 12 because of a few gruesome portrayals of death, yet it could be a lot of fun for teenagers and even adults. With 15 levels meant to never look at some animals the same way again, this app may give birth to a stickler for public safety. FREE, for iOS and Android.
Learning Apps for Adults
- Rosetta Stone – supposedly the oldest and best Spanish learning app on the market, it is made for immersing oneself in the language itself, as it eludes the traditional path of picking up Spanish by way of English. Complete with a highly competent speech recognition component, the app also allows you the scheduling of lessons with real tutors, each one proficient in his/her own subject. A demo version is FREE for both Android and iOS.
- MindSnacks – performing a virtual crossing of the Pyrenees, this French vocabulary enhancing app purports to enrich your vocabulary by playful means. Various aspects of the lexicon, over 50 of them, are tested through 9 games. Otherwise, complicated notions as the conjugation of verbs or word gender should become more accessible in some 50 hours of content. $4.99 on iTunes.
- Coursera – we are skipping the fun part for this one because we’re not of a certain age anymore. Nevertheless, this is one of the most useful apps available, as it is FREE, available for both Android and iOS, and it is basically your university a touch away. With over 20 subjects, ranging from music and languages to calculus, each one divided into dozens of courses, Coursera promises to be a stepping-stone in self-education. This app is proof that the Internet has not strayed that far from the intents of its creators.
- Wordflex Touch Dictionary – is a dictionary/thesaurus app only for iPad that promises to engage your synapses. Explore and decipher language through the millions of nodes, navigating the avenues of language and stopping at important intersections. It is not a tool, but more of a novel paradigm for those who are obsessed with always finding the right words. Especially helpful for those would-be writers out there, who need an interactive manner of brainstorming. FREE on iTunes.
That being said, learning apps are no substitute for a college education, so don’t become too enamored with the idea. They are tools to better yourself, really fun, engaging and useful, yet a serious foundation is, at least for the time being, built in the old fashioned way. Sorry to disappoint!