It’s never too late to broaden your knowledge, and in the digital age, information has never been more accessible. And hey, if you’re spending time on your phone you might as well be productive, right?
There are some great learning apps for adults to help you master skills from foreign languages, to computer coding to life skills like cookery or confidence.
Here are 14 of the best mobile and web learning apps for adults to help you pursue your quest for understanding.
While Duolingo offers instruction for dozens of languages, some are stronger than others. For example, suppose you’re learning Spanish as an English speaker. In that case, you’ll find a podcast, interactive short stories, and even get-togethers with other learners (which are online-only meetings in light of COVID-19). More boutique languages don’t have as much content, however. Duolingo is one of the best language learning apps for getting acquainted with a new language or improving your existing skills. It has lovely exercises, and it works well on both desktop and mobile devices—though I’ll tell you a secret about why you should use the desktop versions in a bit.
For speakers of English (meaning the instruction is in English), Duolingo has courses in 36 languages, excluding languages from works of fiction. There are many more courses if you add up all the ones that use a different language of instruction, for example, Catalan for Spanish speakers and French for Arabic speakers.
Check out our blog for which is the best language to learn?
Is Duolingo Free? How Much Does Duolingo Plus Cost?
Duolingo started out as a free app with the promise to remain free forever. The company has kept that promise by becoming ad-supported and offering a paid membership called Duolingo Plus. You do not need to pay for Plus to use Duolingo. Just sign up for the app with an email address and password, and you’re set to go. With a free account, you can study as many languages as you want.
The Plus membership costs $12.99 per month, with a discount if you pay for a year upfront ($83.88). There’s also a family plan that’s good for up to six people, which costs $9.99 per month or $119.99 per year.
What does Duolingo Plus get you? It removes ads and allows you to use the mobile app to an unlimited degree, whereas free users have to take a pause from the mobile app if they get too many questions wrong in a certain time period. Plus members also can practice their mistakes as Duolingo keeps track of them, and they get unlimited special Legendary levels, mastery quizzes, and unlimited Test Outs.
To get right to business, a TED talk is a short presentation that focuses on technology, entertainment, and/or design. Sorry to disappoint any of you hoping a guy named “Ted” founded the TED Organization. To put it another way, TED is a non-profit institution that partners with individuals to assist in sharing ideas globally. Today, TED boasts a collection of over 3,000 TED talk videos from politicians to scientists to comedians and actors. Additionally, they add new videos day in and day out, so there’s never a shortage of engaging content.
As an additional plus, each TED talk is available on their website or their YouTube channel for free. That means more ideas are shared with more people and more conversations about the world around us. After all, we can all use a little encouragement to learn and grow, and shouldn’t encouragement come without a price tag? The guys and gals at TED definitely think so.
Now, if you’re thinking, “Well, that sounds awesome, but I don’t have time,” I have even more good news for you – TED talks are less than an hour long. In fact, the average TED talk is less than 18 minutes long! That’s shorter than an episode of most of our favorite shows.
CodeAcdemy came out all the way back in 2011. It’s a New York-based MOOC company that specializes in providing people with courses centered around the topic of coding.
Codecademy offers students 14 different programming languages to learn at their own leisure. These include some of the most popular languages that are currently dominating the job market, such as Java or Python.
Furthermore, the company offers two more options, in addition to their basic learning plan – the Codecademy Pro and the Codecademy Pro Intensive.
The general consensus about the learning experience in Codecademy seems to be relatively positive. And, to be honest, I can see why. Right from the get-go, the platform offers an easy-to-understand-and-interact-with interface, a wide variety of different courses to choose from (after all, 14 programming languages is quite a lot!), and different options that would suit everyone, according to their wants and needs.
Also, the company strives to deliver some of the most relevant courses on topics that would not only be interesting to the students but would also benefit the job market.
On the other hand, there are complaints that some of the courses tend to crash, and the instructors are not very understanding. While I cannot confirm or deny the claims about the instructors, I can see where the “course crashing” comes in – even while writing this Codecademy review, I’ve experienced technical difficulties with their video player (it lagged like hell) and their “Community” tab (still can’t seem to load!).
Another coding e-learning app/website! SoloLearn is an easy to use platform, filled with short, but useful content, as well as quizzes and challenges that put your knowledge to the test. I recommend the app for beginners, and those who are at an intermediate stage, mainly due to the variety of courses, as well as community discussions.
I’m more than sure that this will give you a jumpstart when learning any programming language you seek to learn, but at the same time, this isn’t as motivating and well-designed as other apps that have weekly leaderboards, and daily streaks (SoloLearner has daily streaks, but it’s hard to find and isn’t as effective).
- edX / MOOC
edX is an online e-learning platform offering interactive courses from the world’s best universities, colleges, and organizations. edX’s most popular subject areas are computer science, engineering, humanities, statistics, and data analysis, known as MOOCs (massive open online courses).
The majority of edX courses offer the opportunity to earn a verified certificate. It also offers the option to learn on its courses for free, which will mean that you won’t have access to the graded assignments and you won’t receive a verified certificate.
You can often upgrade to get a certification, often from a prestigious university too. Ever wanted a Harvard certification, but don’t have the money to study there? Well, a MOOC from edX could be the answer!
- Star Chart
Star Chart is a worthy competitor in the crowded app world, bringing augmented reality to space enthusiasts for free.
Stargazing is a wonderful experience but navigating the night sky for the first time can feel overwhelming. Luckily, apps like Star Chart have been created to help newcomers master the hobby. Say you’ve noticed a star shining brighter than most and want to know what it is? Or you’re wondering if you can find out what strange event you spotted in the sky the other day? Well, there’s an app for that and that app is Star Chart.
Other reasons include its state-of-the-art GPS functionality, which it uses to locate you, along with its accurate 3D universe that can catapult you into the skies. Simply point your device up to the stars and you’re told exactly what’s in front of you.
It’s an amazing app for both beginners and experts alike and with a price tag of zero (although there are some in-app purchases) it’s hard not to recommend it.
Given Star Chart is a free app so you don’t technically need to buy anything, it’s a bit of a no-brainer to at least give Star Chart a go. The fact that the base-level app has a whole host of features and an easily navigable design is incredibly impressive.
- LinkedIn Learning
To put it very simply, LinkedIn Learning is a MOOC provider. MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Courses. So, in this aspect, LinkedIn Learning is very similar to platforms like Udemy, edX, Coursera, and other well-known online course providers.
The site (LinkedIn Learning) itself is a subsidiary of LinkedIn. The “learning” version of the site is designed to help people learn useful and even essential skills that would help them do better in building their career paths in the current job market. The website provides courses on various different topics, starting from business and technology, all the way up to creative and artistic ones.
LinkedIn Learning offers online courses in Business, Creative and Technology subjects. All its courses are self-paced which gives you the flexibility to learn anytime, anywhere. LinkedIn Learning allows you to purchase an individual course, or you can subscribe to its monthly or annual plan that includes a 1-month free trial. Its instructors are subject-matter experts who collaborate with LinkedIn Learning to create high-quality content.
Udemy is the biggest online learning platform offering 200,000+ affordable online courses where users can learn new skills or improve existing ones. It offers courses on 11 categories from Business, Design, Music and much more.
Udemy’s courses are designed, created and published by independent instructors and learners pay for each individual course with a one-off payment. When you successfully complete a course, you will receive a certificate, but this certification isn’t officially verified by any external partner. Any Udemy purchased course comes with lifetime access and a 30-day refund policy. There are also a bunch of free courses to get you started.
If a variety of courses is something that you are looking for, then you are considering the right elearning platform. Udemy offers such diversity of courses, there really is no limit to what you could learn with categories like ¨Finance & Accounting¨ to ¨Lifestyle¨.
If you are thinking of a career change and gaining a new professional skill like coding knowledge or maybe you want to dabble in an exciting new hobby like cake decorating, then Udemy has it all.
Its courses vary from beginner to advanced levels so you will certainly find a course that is suited to your skills and ambition. The diversity of its courses really makes Udemy stand out from other competitors like Skillshare or Pluralsight. The fact is that Udemy is open to everyone, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have any prior experience.
- Khan Academy
Khan Academy is an online educational website created by Salman Khan. The goal of Khan Academy is to offer a free world-class education for anyone anywhere.
The site offers over 3,400 video lessons in math, science, computer programming, and test preparation which are hosted on YouTube. It has been praised by many educators as a tool for students to learn independently at their own pace without having to pay large amounts of money for tutoring classes or coursework.
In this comprehensive review of Khan Academy, we will tell you everything you need to know to figure out whether this online education platform is the one you’ve been waiting for.
Because Khan Academy is a nonprofit organization, all courses here are completely free.
There are, of course, various benefits to creating an account and signing in, so consider taking the time to do so. If you make an account, you will be able to login and track your progress in certain courses. You can also give a tutor, teacher, or parent access to your learning history so that they can assign various assignments or projects to you.
Coursera is an online learning platform offering thousands of learning programs from courses to specializations and degrees. It works with top Universities and Organizations to facilitate its online courses. Coursera offers a variety of payment plans, from completely free to paying for an individual course or via a monthly or annual subscription. Its courses are flexible, affordable, job relevant and recognized by future employers.
Launched all the way back in 2012 by two Standford University computer science professors, Coursera is an online education and learning-based platform. It allows students to enroll in courses, specialize in a field of their choice and study the subjects that will help them on their career paths.
It is worth mentioning now, however, that one of these features is a certificate of completion – an official document stating that you have successfully finished and graduated from the course/specialty.
All-in-all the Mimo app has an extensive feature set, but in order to continue using the app you will have to purchase the Pro version, I recommend you test it out, and if you like it, purchase the Pro version from the start so you can utilize the Pro-only challenges and projects for all courses.
Out of all the learning-to-code apps, I still think Mimo is overall the best, (if you’re willing to pay for the monthly subscription) mainly due to its premium feel, as well as motivational factors such as leaderboards, and daily streaks.
The app is perfect for quick learning sessions on the go when you have a couple of minutes to spare.
Especially if you purchase the Pro version, you’ll get access to more than just web development, and programming languages, such as data science, and cybersecurity.
And if I do decide to purchase the Pro version and learn the other programming languages Mimo has on offer, I will definitely update this review.
Skillshare is an online learning platform with thousands of classes for creative people and entrepreneurs. Its topics include illustration, design, photography, video, freelancing and more. It offers a 7-day free trial on its premium plan for individual users that is either billed annually at $167.88 (working out at $13.99 a month). Skillshare also has plans for teams and Businesses that start at $159, per user a year. It’s 3 team plans, offer different packages to fulfill the needs of each team or business. Skillshare offers both Scholarships and Financial aid for eligible learners, and a refund is available on annual memberships within 7 days.
MasterClass is an online platform that offers thousands of classes from 11 top categories, including photography, cooking, writing, acting, music, sports, and more. Its classes are taught by 150+ celebrities and VIPs that have a wealth of knowledge and experience and are ready to share it. Every class has been designed to be accessible for people with little to no experience. Its video classes are well produced and have a cinematic feel, making learning with MasterClass highly engaging. It launches new classes regularly where you can learn practical skills and ignite new passions. It works on a subscription model that is billed annually and also has plans for teams and Businesses.
If you’re serious about picking up that language and DuoLingo seems a bit too much like a game then take a look at Pimsleur. It’s built to get you immersed in the language and even speaking with a genuine accent, fast. So if you’re looking for results with your language learning, Pimsleur is definitely one of the best adult learning apps for you.
They offer a 7 day free trial to try it on for size and, if you like it and decide to commit, you only pay a rolling contract (cancel any time). Prices start from $14.95 per month for the paid tier, up to $20.95 for the full package. But as a comprehensive language learning tool you will definitely be able to make that package work for you….
If you’re ready to get fluent then take a look at Pimsleur.
That was it for today’s topic of best learning apps for adults and morning meeting games for learning. I hope you will gain a new skill and come back for more content like this!