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Last Updated on March 17, 2020

17 Best Learning Apps to Help You Learn Faster

17 Best Learning Apps to Help You Learn Faster

Do you want to learn a new skill or make a shift in your career? Learning apps are the solution.

Lifelong learning is not a fad. With the emergence of search engines more than a decade ago, information has never been easier to accumulate.

Learning apps have quickly become a go-to method of enhancing or accruing skills for students and professionals alike. While college degrees are still seen as high-priority accomplishments in the workplace today, people are becoming increasingly warm to the idea of building skills on the side as an acceptable replacement for a diploma.

With so many credible resources available to jump start a new part of your career, what are you waiting for?

If you’re looking to gain a new skill or improve upon one in which you’re already invested, this exclusive list of the very best learning apps can help you learn more effectively and reach new heights in your career.

1. Lynda

    The current king (or queen) of learning apps is Lynda. Owned by technology super-power Microsoft, this platform boasts a wide array of courses not available anywhere else.

    Lynda was founded in 1995 by a digital arts master named, you guessed it, Lynda Weinman.

    The top skills you can begin accruing on the site include:

    • Software development
    • Web development
    • Photography
    • Business
    • Design

    Once you secure your subscription, you get unlimited access to all courses (for the compulsive types that like switching around). All courses are taught by expert instructors and industry experts.

    Available for iOS | Android | Web

    Pricing: A Lynda membership will cost $25 per month.

    2. LinkedIn Learning

      The professional network has made a massive push toward educating its dedicated users. LinkedIn Learning is their platform to promote positive growth and learning in your career.

      While LinkedIn is also owned by Microsoft, there are key difference between Lynda and LinkedIn Learning. The largest differentiator between these platforms is that LinkedIn Learning comes as a package deal with your LinkedIn Premium subscription.

      This is highly beneficial to those who are already serious enough about their online career development that they hold a monthly membership to Premium.

      The library here is incredibly vast, spanning from Business to Creative and Technology skills.

      Available for iOS | Android | Web

      Pricing: LinkedIn Learning is completely free with a LinkedIn premium subscription, starting at $30.

      3. Udemy

        Not the monthly membership type? This one may be just right for you.

        Udemy is a “learn on demand” website and app that starts their course pricing at $10.99. This allows you the flexibility to take your time on a course you purchase over the course of several months, without worrying about recurring payments before you finish.

        Many career-oriented individuals want to improve their skills and habits, but the reality is that workdays typically require most of their time.

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        This flexible learning app allows you to take things slow, fast, or anywhere in-between with complete control on your end.

        Available for iOS | Android | Web

        Pricing: As mentioned above, courses start at $10.99.

        4. Khan Academy

          For many of us out there, we simply can’t afford to splurge on extracurricular skill-building. We want to improve ourselves and advance our careers, but we would need to do so on a minimal budget.

          Enter Khan Academy, a completely free database of courses where you can learn anything.

          The skills you can anticipate to build here on less focused on business, technology, and design, and more so on mathematics, science, and finance.

          Khan is a great resource for students, young professionals, and seasoned career veterans.

          Averrable for iOS | Android | Web

          Pricing: Free

          5. Udacity

            If you’re looking to master in-demand skills, but want to tackle it all at your own pace, then Udacity is right up your alley.

            Udacity offers what they call Nanodegrees, and help you learn enough to actually consider changing careers altogether!

            The best part? You can learn on Udacity for free!

            Available for iOS | Android | Web

            Pricing: Free for skill videos. The Nanodegrees start at around $599, or payments of $50 per month.

            6. Coursera

              Much like similar platforms, Coursera offers courses and certifications to further your knowledge and boost your career.

              It also offers the opportunity to earn your degree online through prestigious institutions, such as: Yale, Michigan, Stanford, and leading companies like Google and IBM.

              This site is unique in that it provides free information, but the paid information is directly tied to actual accredited institutions.

              Available for iOS | Android | Web

              Pricing: Courses are free. Degrees vary in price.

              7. Mimo

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                One of the world’s most valuable and popular skills to build is coding. Whether you are looking to build websites, apps, or databases, there is a substantial need for this in the workplace.

                Mimo provides you with the opportunity to make a drastic switch in your career to computer science, or simply refine your current development skills.

                Available for iOS | Android | Web

                Pricing: Free

                8. TED-Ed

                  By now, you’ve watched dozens of TED talks and heard a plethora of messages from these events. TED is one of the largest events in the world, and its main ambition is to be a thought leader for anyone seeking knowledge.

                  TED-Ed is an extension of this great effort, taking the form of an online education system. The topics on TED-Ed are not always as tactical as other apps on this list.

                  The courses you find here range from “What is imposter syndrome and how can you combat it?” to “Did the Amazons really exist?”

                  Available for iOS | Android | Web

                  Pricing: Free

                  9. Duolingo

                    Speaking another language may have more of a positive impact on the world than acquiring any other skill.

                    Think about it:

                    How many people are there in the world that, if you sparked up a conversation, wouldn’t understand a word you say?

                    Duolingo is the premiere leader in language education. You can learn to speak 29 different languages, all at the touch of a button.

                    You’ll be invited to not only read new words, but to speak them. You’ll learn grammar, jargon, and conversational tactics.

                    Make your impact on the world by learning to communicate with a new portion of its inhabitants!

                    Available for iOS | Android | Web

                    Pricing: Free

                    10. Headspace

                      Going outside the box, one of the crucial skills you can acquire is mastering your mental health. This is no easy task, but with the help of Headspace, you will be able to make a vast impact on your mindset.

                      Headspace uses exercises in breathing, meditating, and being aware to strengthen your mind and build up resistance against stress and anxiety.

                      Learning to improve your mental health through concerted effort will have a massively positive effect on your ability to seize the day and achieve your goals.

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                      Available for iOS | Android | Web

                      Pricing: Free

                      11. Mind Tools

                        Since 1996, Mind Tools has been helping people boost their careers through lifelong education. It focuses specifically on providing the essential content you need to build an excellent career, striving to eliminate the fluff.

                        If you are looking to make a career change in the most efficient way possible, Mind Tools is a great option.

                        Available for iOS | Android | Web

                        Pricing: $1 for the first month, then $19 per month.

                        12. Blinkist

                          Are you an avid reader with little time to spare? Or maybe you’ve never enjoyed reading because the content is too long?

                          Either way, Blinkist aims to eliminate these issues.

                          Blinkist’s goal is to give you key ideas from nonfiction books in 15 mins. They also offer the ability to read this content offline.

                          Available for iOS | Android | Web

                          Pricing: $79.99 per year.

                          13. Elevate – Brain Training

                            The simple things in life are often the most important. Elevate is aiming to prove that to you with brain training personalized to your needs.

                            Inviting you to stay sharp, build your confidence and boost your productivity, Elevate is an app that organizes games and activities on your phone that will accomplish these goals.

                            By improving small habits, you will see an uptick in energy, efficiency, and effectiveness.

                            Available for iOS | Android

                            Pricing: Free trial, then $45 per year.

                            14. MasterClass

                              While the other platforms for learning on this list provide exceeding value, none allow you to sneak into the mind of an actual expert quite like MasterClass.

                              Do you want to learn to cook like Gordon Ramsey? It may be best to actually have him teach you personally.

                              Want to learn the ins and outs of directing a movie? Ron Howard can offer unparalleled expertise.

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                              On MasterClass, these are the teachers: industry experts, the best of the best.

                              Available for iOS |  Web

                              Pricing: $180 per year for access to all courses.

                              15. Skillshare

                                Boasting a library of over 22,000 free and premium courses, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a larger provider of online education than Skillshare.

                                All classes are online, and strive to take you on a journey from no skill to trustworthy expert.

                                Ranging from topics such as creativity and lifestyle to business and technology, there is very little you won’t find here.

                                Available for iOS | Android | Web

                                Pricing: Free trial, then $45 per year.

                                16. edX

                                  Much like Coursera, edX aims to connect you with educators from highly prestigious universities. If you don’t want to risk learning from someone who barely has more experience than you, edX is for you.

                                  Here, you can learn about computer science, language, statistics, and even humanities from institutions like Harvard, Stanford and MIT.

                                  Available for iOS | Android | Web

                                  Pricing: Free

                                  17. CreativeLive

                                    Focusing more on the creative skills and jobs out there, Creative Live is a leader in helping you “answer your creative calling”.

                                    You’ll be able to learn from key influencers, such as Mel Robbins, Lisa Congdon, and John Greengo.

                                    The key difference here as that courses are not free. The app is free to download and explore, but it will take an investment on your part to get access to these expert-led lessons.

                                    Available for iOS |  Web

                                    Pricing: Starting at $99 per course.

                                    The Bottom Line

                                    No matter what you are trying to learn and where you feel is best for you to do that, the most important thing is that you take action!

                                    Start learning something new today, and repeat the pattern daily for the rest of your life. Visit the apps in this list and find which one is best for you!

                                    Lifelong learning is easier than ever before, and it’s something you really should take advantage of.

                                    More Learning Tips

                                    Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

                                    More by this author

                                    Blake Emal

                                    A young entrepreneur who took a leap of faith and moved away from his comfort zone to build his own business

                                    17 Best Learning Apps to Help You Learn Faster

                                    Trending in Learning

                                    1 How to Know Which Types of Learning Styles Work for You? 2 5 Characteristics of a Kinesthetic Learner 3 How Motor Learning Helps You Learn Effectively 4 How Social Learning Helps You Learn Faster 5 How to Use Visual Learning to Learn Effectively

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                                    Last Updated on March 31, 2020

                                    How to Know Which Types of Learning Styles Work for You?

                                    How to Know Which Types of Learning Styles Work for You?

                                    One of the biggest realizations I had as a kid is that teaching in school could be hit or miss for students. We all have our own different types of learning styles. Even when I was in study groups, we all had our own ways of uncovering solutions to questions.

                                    It wasn’t only until later in my life did I realize how important it is to know your own learning style. As soon as you know how you learn and the best way to learn, you can better retain information. This information could be crucial to your job, future promotions, and overall excelling in life.

                                    Best of all about this information is that, it’s not hard to figure out what works best for you. There are broad categories of learning styles, so it’s a matter of finding which one we gravitate towards most.

                                    What Are the Types of Learning Styles?

                                    Before we get into the types of learning styles, there’s one thing to know:

                                    We all learn through repetition.

                                    No matter how old you are, studies show that repetition allows us to retain and learn new information.[1] The big question now is what kind of repetition is needed. After all, we all learn and process information differently.

                                    This is where the types of learning styles come in. There are eight in total and there is one or two that we prefer over others. This is important because when reading these learning styles, you’ll feel like you’d prefer a mixture of these styles.

                                    That’s because we do prefer a combination. Though there will be one style that will be more predominate over the others. The key is finding which one it is.

                                    Visual Learning

                                    A visual learner (also known as the spatial learner) excels at deciphering anything visual – typically maps and graphs.

                                    If you are this type of learner, you likely excelled at geometry in math class but struggled with arithmetic and numbers. To this day, you might also struggle with reading and writing to a degree.

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                                    While visual learners are described as “late bloomers,” they are highly imaginative. They also process what they see much faster than what they hear.

                                    Verbal Learning

                                    Verbal learning, on the other hand, is learning through what’s spoken. Verbal learners excel in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Because of that, they are likely the ones to find thrills in tongue twists, word games, and puns.

                                    They also thoroughly enjoy drama, writing, and speech classes. But give them maps, or challenge them to think outside of the box and they’ll struggle a bit.

                                    Logical Learning

                                    Not to be confused with visual learners, these learners are good at math and logic puzzles. Anything involving numbers or other abstract visual information is where they excel.

                                    They can also analyze cause and effect relationships quite well. Part of that is due to their thinking process being linear.

                                    Another big difference is their need to quantify everything. These people love grouping information, creating specific lists, agendas or itineraries.

                                    They also have a love for strategy games and making calculations in their heads.

                                    Auditory Learning

                                    Similar to verbal learning, this type of learning style focuses on sounds on a deeper level. These people think chronologically and excel more in the step-by-step methods. These are likely the people who will watch Youtube videos to learn or do something the most.

                                    These learners also have a great memory of conversations and love debates and discussions. Chances are likely these people excel at anything oral.

                                    Also as the name suggests, these individuals have great musical talents. They can decern notes, instruments, rhythms and tones. That being said, they will have a tough time interpreting body language, expressions and gestures. This also applies to charts, maps and graphs.

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                                    Social Learning

                                    Otherwise known as the interpersonal learner, their skills are really unique. They don’t particularly excel in classrooms but rather through talking to other people.

                                    These are the people who are excited for group conversations or group projects. Mainly because they are gifted with coming up with ideas and discussing them.

                                    They also have a good understanding of people’s emotions, facial expressions, and relationship dynamics. They are also likely the first people to point out the root causes of communication issues.

                                    Intrapersonal Learning

                                    The reverse of interpersonal learning, these people prefer learning alone. These are the people who love self-study and working alone. Typically, intrapersonal learners are deeply in tune with themselves meaning they know who they are, their feelings, and their own capabilities.

                                    This type of learning style means you love learning something on your own and typically every day. You also have innate skills in managing yourself and indulging in self-reflection.

                                    Physical Learning

                                    Also known as kinesthetic learning, these people love doing things with their hands. These are people who loved pottery or shop class. If you’re a physical learner, you’ll find you have a huge preference in using your body in order to learn.

                                    This means not just pottery or shop class you enjoyed. You may also have loved sports or any other art medium like painting or woodwork. Anything that involved you learning through physical manipulation you enjoyed and excelled at.

                                    Though this doesn’t just apply to direct physical activities. A physical learner may also find that they learn well when both reading on any subject and pacing or bouncing your leg at the same time.

                                    Naturalistic Learning

                                    The final learning style is naturalistic. These are people who process information through patterns in nature. They also apply scientific reasoning in order to understand living creatures.

                                    Not many people may be connected to this one out of the types of learning styles primarily because of those facts. Furthermore, those who excel in this learning end up being farmers, naturalists or scientists.

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                                    These are the people who love everything with nature. They appreciate plants, animals, and rural settings deeply compared to others.

                                    How to Know Which One(s) Suit You Better?

                                    So now that you have an idea of all the types of learning styles we have another question:

                                    Which one(s) are best for you?

                                    As a reminder, all of us learn through a combination of these learning styles. This makes pinpointing these styles difficult since our learning is likely a fusion of two or more of those styles.

                                    Fortunately, there are all kinds of methods to narrow down which learner you are. Let’s explore the most popular one: the VARK model.

                                    VARK Model

                                    Developed by Neil Fleming and David Baume, the VARK model is basically a conversation starter for teachers and learners.[2] It takes the eight types of learning styles above and condenses them into four categories:

                                    • Visual – those who learn from sight.
                                    • Auditory – those who learn from hearing.
                                    • Reading/writing – those who learn from reading and writing.
                                    • Kinesthetic – those who learn from doing and moving.

                                    As you can probably tell, VARK comes from the first letter of each style.

                                    But why use this particular model?

                                    This model was created not only for discussion purposes but for learners to know a few key things — namely understanding how they learn.

                                    Because our school system is focusing on a one-size-fits-all model, there are many of us who struggle learning in school. While we may no longer go to school, these behaviors persisted into our adult lives regardless. While we aren’t learning about algebra or science, we may be learning new things about our job or industry. Knowing how to best retain that information for the future helps in so many ways.

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                                    As such, it can be frustrating when we’re in a classroom setting and aren’t understanding anything. That or maybe we’re listening to a speech or reading a book and have no clue what’s going on.

                                    This is where VARK comes back in. To quote Fleming and Baume:

                                    “VARK above all is designed to be a starting place for a conversation among teachers and learners about learning. It can also be a catalyst for staff development- thinking about strategies for teaching different groups can lead to more, and appropriate, variety of learning and teaching.”

                                    Getting into the specifics, this is what’s known as metacognition.[3] It helps you to understand how you learn and who you are. Think of it as a higher order of thinking that takes control over how you learn. It’s impossible to not use this while learning.

                                    But because of that metacognition, we can pinpoint the different types of learning styles that we use. More importantly, what style we prefer over others.

                                    Ask These Questions

                                    One other method that I’ll mention is the research that’s done at the University of Waterloo.[4] If you don’t want to be using a lot of brainpower to pinpoint, consider this method.

                                    The idea with this method is to answer a few questions. Since our learning is a combination of styles, you’ll find yourself leaning to one side over the other with these questions:

                                    • The active/reflective scale: How do you prefer to process information?
                                    • The sensing/intuitive scale: How do you prefer to take in information?
                                    • The visual/verbal scale: How do you prefer information to be presented?
                                    • The sequential/global scale: How do you prefer to organize information?

                                    This can narrow down how you learn and provide some other practical tips for enhancing your learning experience.

                                    Final Thoughts

                                    Even though we have a preferred style of learning and knowing what that is is beneficial, learning isn’t about restriction. Our learning style shouldn’t be the sole learning style we rely on all the time.

                                    Our brain is made of various parts and whatever style we learn activates certain parts of the brain. Because of this fact, it would be wise to consider other methods of learning and to give them a try.

                                    Each method I mentioned has its merits and there’s not one dominate or superior method. What method we like is entirely up to our preferences. So be flexible with those preferences and uncover what style works best for you.

                                    More About Learning

                                    Featured photo credit: Anna Earl via unsplash.com

                                    Reference

                                    [1] BrainScape: Repetition is the mother of all learning
                                    [2] Neil Fleming and David Baume: VARKing Up the Right Tree
                                    [3] ERIC: Metacognition: An Overview
                                    [4] University of Waterloo: Understanding Your Learning Style

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