For those looking to feed their brains with the knowledge and challenges that they crave, check out the following free apps that will help keep your thinking skills sharp and ready for the new school year.
Scientists and game designers have come together to develop this brain training game. Lumosity is a simple online tool that allows anyone to train core cognitive abilities, such as memory and attention. Challenge your brain with more than 30 different games and puzzles, and track your score to help you improve or see how you compare with others. Free to download on iOS and Android
Are you looking to improve your math and science skills? Then this “brilliant” app is for you! Master subjects like chemistry, number theory, and computer science through conceptual quizzes, written by mathematicians and scientists who are passionate about teaching. Free to download on iOS and Android.
Have you ever shied away from learning chess, because it seems like too much of a difficult game? This app will boost your confidence by giving you various forms of support on your chess-learning journey. Lessons and videos teach you everything you need to know about openings, endgames, tactics, attacks, and strategy. You can solve tactical puzzles to develop your intuition about the best moves to make, or you can play against others or the computer to strengthen your overall skills. Free to download on iOS and Android.
HelloTalk is an app that you can use to learn languages by chatting with native language speakers from around the world. Choose from over 100 languages and become instantly connected with native speakers. This app offers many language learning tools such as voice-to-text, transliteration, translation, and grammar correction, which will help you pick up the language faster and more efficiently. Free to download on iOS and Android.
Similar to the well-known Duolingo, ChineseSkill is a game-based app that makes learning Mandarin a whole lot more fun. The lessons are available in the form of mini-games that test your listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills. The lessons are also split into bite-size pieces that cover topics such as greetings and introductions, shopping, travel, food, dating and flirting, and many more. Free to download on iOS and Android.
Whether you need extra homework help or you are just passionate about learning, Khan Academy offers videos, interactive exercises, and in-depth articles to help you learn math, science, economics, humanities, and more. You can also find lessons to prepare you for the upcoming SAT, GMAT, or MCAT. This is one of our personal favorite learning tools, as the lessons are easy to understand, and the exercises do a great job of reinforcing the main points. Free to download on iOS and Android.
edX offers online courses from the world’s best universities and institutions including Harvard University, MIT, Tsinghua University, Microsoft, and The Smithsonian. Anyone who loves learning will benefit from the plethora of courses in subjects like programming, calculus, and business, which will fit into even the busiest of schedules. Free to download on iOS and Android.
Fun for kids
Children as young as five can learn the basics of coding with Scratch Jr, an app designed by researchers at Tufts University, MIT Media Lab, and Playful Invention Company. This programming language is a simplification of the more famous Scratch language, as it is suitable for children who have yet to strengthen their reading skills. The objective of this app is to snap together different programming blocks to make adorable characters move, jump, dance, and sing. This app is not only perfect for teaching kids how to code, it is also great for improving their problem solving, design, and creativity skills. Free to download on iPad and Android tablets.
Photos: MIH83 via Pixabay, courtesy of apps
This article originally appeared on p 18-19 of beijingkids August 2017 issue.
Download the digital copy here.