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Perhaps one of the most promising applications of mobile technology is the growing access to knowledge. Web-connected smartphones put a universe of knowledge in the palm of your hand, and that’s an incredibly powerful thing. Sure, the iPhone seems to get all the attention when it comes to education apps for mobile users, but Android is moving to the head of the class. There’s several quality apps for Android that are dedicated to education, whether you’re in kindergarten or college.
From O’Reilly Media, TED Talks have revolutionized the lecture scene with compelling presentations that cover fascinating topics in about five minutes. It’s the perfect combination of nerdy and cool, taking on a range of subjects that appeal to students of almost any age. Featuring academic and business legends, the TED app for Android delivers lifelong lessons that leave an impression, making the process of learning fun and applicable to the real world. Free, the app features over 1,000 video and audio clips on demand.
Khan Academy Player (Free)
Khan Academy has taken the academic world by storm, offering a new and highly digital way to learn every subject under the sun. The Khan Academy Player from WidgetLabs lets you browse and watch educational videos for math, physics, chemistry, humanities and more, helping students in grade school, high school and beyond. The app has sections for test preparation, talks and interviews. You can search videos by category, and download individual videos or entire playlists for offline viewing.
A trusted web resource, WolframAlpha is a great companion app for researching for term papers and the like. High schoolers and college students should appreciate WolframAlpha the most, taking full advantage of the app’s ability to answer questions instead of merely redirecting web traffic based on your queries. With technological contributions from AI greats like Siri, WolframAlpha is known for its prowess in a range of subjects, including chemistry, statistics, physics and geography.
We had Cliff Notes in my day, and we had to trek to the bookstore just to buy them. Today’s students have SparkNotes, an Android app that provides the lowdown on dozens of novels, short stories and poems. Broken down by category, SparkNotes’ study guides can be downloaded to your device for offline viewing, favorited and shared on Facebook. Handy for middle school students and up, SparkNotes takes on Shakespeare, Whitman, Orwell and more.
Kids Numbers and Math ($2.99)
The youngest of students are growing up in a new world, where smartphones and tablets can jumpstart their education. And while the cautious parent may be wary of putting a web-connected gadget in their kid’s hands, the promise of early learning gives new meaning to mobile devices. Able to provide an interactive learning experience, Kids Numbers and Math was made for preschoolers. Crafted as a game with support for several languages, this Android app makes learning fun. And app maker intellijoy has several educational games for kids, covering a range of subjects.
Algebra Tutor (Free)
For middle and high schoolers, math can start to get tricky. Give your budding student a leg up with the Algebra Tutor app for Android. With the app you can practice and learn the necessary skills for algebra and pre-algebra, two courses that plagued me as a youngster. Algebra Tutor covers 35 practice concepts, from fractions to integers, giving you a step-by-step walkthrough of each problem so you can see where you made mistakes. You can also save your stats to track your progress over time.