JP Holecka discusses the latest apps each week in his regular segment on Roundhouse Radio 98.3 FM. To hear his thoughts on some of the best educational apps, (7 minute listen).
With January drawing to a close, it is statistically likely that you have already dropped all of your New Year’s resolutions. In other words, you have some free time to learn a new skill. This week we take a look at some mobile apps that make learning fun. Whether you want to learn a new language or sharpen up your mathematical skills, you can do it without it feeling like work.
Learn a new language with Duolingo
Duolingo claims to be able to teach you a new language in just ten minutes a day. Its gamified approach uses short quizzes to test your reading, writing, speaking and listening skills while you’re commuting to work or waiting in line for coffee. Complete topics and earn points to level up and unlock new, more advanced lessons. Its streak count and pop-up notifications encourage you to log in for your daily practice to get you from novice to fluent speaker as quickly as possible.
Duolingo currently offers language courses across 23 languages from Danish to Vietnamese, with more in development all the time through their volunteer-driven Duolingo Incubator program. Around 120 million people around the world use the mobile app to upgrade their language skills, for free, and there is an active community of language learners to help you out if you get stuck.
Make your playtime count with 2048
When 19-year-old Gabriele Cirulli created 2048 in 2014, he only wanted to see if he could build a game from scratch. To his surprise, his game became an instant out-of-nowhere hit, thanks to its addictive blend of simple gameplay and deceptively fiendish difficulty. In less than a week, more than 4 million people were smashing matching numbers together.
Unlike many popular mobile games like Candy Crush and Pokemon Go, 2048 is completely free to play with no in-app purchases. It’s also a good mathematical workout for your brain, making it that much easier to justify your addiction to it.
Battle brain-to-brain with QuizUp
Do you watch Jeopardy from the edge of your seat? Are you banned from playing Trivial Pursuit ever again? QuizUp allows you to take on users from around the world in seven-round multiple choice quizzes. It features a staggering range of topics from obvious choices like General Knowledge and World History, to more esoteric categories like Name the Wrestler. Like Duolingo, winning matches earns you points and level-ups, earning you more and more extravagant titles as you sweep all challengers aside. You can also add and challenge your friends to determine once and for all which one of you is smarter. The base game is free, although it includes in-app purchases.