No matter how you felt about school, learning can be very rewarding. There is a certain satisfaction that comes from acquiring new knowledge or a new skill. However, it can be hard to find the time to sit down and teach yourself something new. You know what you always have time for though? Your phone, specifically mobile apps.
That’s right, in this relatively new age of technology, it is possible to teach yourself pretty much anything on the fly thanks to your pocket computer. Mobile apps have become a go-to source for people on-the-go who want to bolster their skillsets, both business and personal. Here is a small sample of apps that can help strengthen your bag of tricks:
Coding is difficult to learn, but not impossible. Udacity is an educational app that streamlines the learning process through a variety of online courses. It was designed to be flexible and accessible enough that anyone who has an interest in bettering their understanding of coding could benefit. From Android and iOS development to Front-End and Full Stack Web Development, Udacity offers anyone the ability to acquire the skills necessary to break into a tech-heavy business environment.
What sets Udacity apart is their heavier course-work, which dives into subjects such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, VR Development and more. The opportunities and options that they provide is staggering, and some of them do come at a price. The advanced courses (as well as certain others) do have a cost for enrollment, but most courses are free. With a diverse offering of free courses, there’s no reason not to take a crack at coding.
Most of us are familiar with Microsoft Office and Adobe Suite, but sometimes you are asked by your employer to use a program you’ve never even heard of. Instead of trying to figure out these programs on your own, Lynda.com can provide you with all the instruction you need. With over 6,000+ courses available, including software development, design and business courses, there is no shortage of skills you can learn through either your computer, phone or TV.
Unlike some of these other skill-learning apps, Lynda.com does require a monthly subscription. Luckily, you can try it for free for 30-days before committing to either their Basic ($19.99) or Premium ($29.99) plans. With the amount of content on offer, as well as the on-the-go accessibility, it is a small price to pay for the plethora of skills you can acquire through consistent use of this app.
While other learning sites focus on a specific industry or set of skills, Udemy covers a much wider range of subjects. With 42,000+ courses available in over 80 languages, the people at Udemy are devoted to helping anyone learn anything, from developing practical real-world skills to more professional, business-related skillsets. The ability to take courses through your mobile device makes it easier to find the time to expand your repertoire of skills.
What’s unique about Udemy is what it offers those outside of learning. The app gives you the option to become an instructor, allowing you to create your own online course to help others learn. Not only that, but you can earn a little extra money every time someone pays for one of your courses. Which you can then use to pay for the courses you wish to learn, as Udemy is a pay-by-course system. Nevertheless, Udemy should be one of your first stops on the road of self-improvement.
The stock market can be difficult to wrap your head around, and even more difficult to get started in. Luckily, TradeHero helps ease in newcomers by simulating the stock market in a gamified version. The app allows you to try your hand at the market with virtual money so there is no risk of you draining your bank account due to lack of experience.
While the app is 100% cost and risk free, you can switch over to the “Live” version which allows you to trade stocks with real money in real-time. Setting up an account is easy, and with no threat to your wallet you’re able to learn by doing.
We all wish we could speak more languages, but the amount of time it takes a master a language is hard to squeeze in during the work week. Which is why Duolingo is such a helpful app. Duolingo offers a variety of lessons for 30 different languages, all available either on your computer or your mobile device. The lessons themselves are short, incremental exercises which encourage an addictive “just one more” attitude towards learning. Also, the overall gamification of language learning makes the process more enjoyable, as it motivates you through challenges and tracking your progress.
What sets Duolingo apart from other language software, besides its accessibility, is the app is 100% free. The benefit of this is not only to the individual user, but for teachers wanting to integrate this language learning in the classroom. With a team that is constantly assessing the best way for people to learn new languages, expanding your international vocabulary has never been easier.
These apps are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the educational, skill-building apps available right now. However, they establish a strong baseline of skills that could benefit anyone in the current professional environment, as well as satisfy a yearn to learn on a personal level. Hopefully you’ll give one of these a try and add a new valuable skill to your list of accomplishments.