College Advice Blog

Oct 11, 2012

The Best Apps for Continuous Learning

One of the best features of the electronic age is access to almost unlimited, updated information. That set of encyclopedias that you used in grade school may as well be a dinosaur. You don't have to join a library or enroll at a university. Continuous learning is as close as your iPad or other electronic device.  

While it's true that there are many more learning apps designed for children than for adults, if you're looking to increase your knowledge, you can't go wrong with these six apps:

1. Spanish Tutor. As America becomes more and more bilingual, having at least a working knowledge of Spanish is more important than ever. Spanish Tutor is a free program, designed for iPad and iPhone users, that is like having your own personal language lab. It has lessons about words and phrases to use in common settings with native speakers and provides you with tips on pronunciation. The program quizzes you at the end of each lesson and offers areas where you need improvement based on your score.

2. Shakespeare. Have you always wanted to read the Bard, but never had the time or the money for a large volume of Shakespeare's works? With the free Shakespeare app, you have his complete works at your fingertips. This program, designed for iPads and iPhones, not only contains all of the plays and poems of William Shakespeare, but you can search for common quotes and themes. The app even remembers what page you were on when you last used the program.

3. NASA App. The brain trust that took a man to the moon has created a free app for iPads, iPhones and Android-powered devices that ties you in directly to a wealth of NASA information. Included are NASA images of earth, the moon, space and other planets, live satellite tracking, mission information and stories and NASA videos.

4. World Atlas. National Geographic has brought the world to your electronic device. Designed for Apple devices, this 99-cent app provides all of the most up-to-date National Geographic maps for all countries and regions of the world. This app takes you to places uncharted by Google and offers classic, satellite and road maps. If you've ever wondered where Burkina Faso is, this is your app.

5. Vocabology. I read somewhere on the Internet yesterday never to "underestimate the power of a good vocabulary." How true! If you're looking to bolster your reservoir of words, this free app for Apple devices gives you a new word each day to work into your daily speech. The app also offers a word-of-the-day in a variety of languages other than English, including French, Spanish, Italian and German.

6. Stanza. Reading is one of the best ways to increase your knowledge. Stanza, a free app for Apple devices, brings you more than four million downloadable books in 21 languages, including English. The titles range from contemporary thrillers to classics.

So, what are you waiting for? Start building your vocabulary and/or brain power today.

Hannah N is a technology writer specifically interested in marketing. She writes for and loves to explore new sites and equipment for online interactions! Follow her at @HongryHannah, thanks for reading!

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