Whether you’re taking an online class or trying to learn Spanish before the relatives come over for the holidays, your iPhone is probably always in your pocket. Rather than using it to text (or pretending to) on the subway, you can bite into a mobile learning experience—from anywhere, at any time.
Most of these apps aren’t about those that are helpful to you if you’re already a student, like taking notes or printing documents. You know those already (and if you don’t check them out here). Instead, these apps are supplementary in nature. If you’re taking a literature class, check out Shakespeare in Bits and English Idioms Illustrated. If you’d rather not drop a pretty penny for a graphing calculator, look for the app below. These apps are meant to help you before exams or keep you on your toes during weekends when lugging around textbooks is a bother. Your iPhone is always around—why not use it?
1.Shakespeare in Bits
Love him or hate him, Shakespeare defined the English language and the stage as we know it today. With this iPad or iPhone app, you can purchase five of Shakespeare’s classics, including Romeo & Juliet, Julius Caesar, and Macbeth. Even if the flowery language turns your mind to mud, this multimedia experience—plot summaries and analyses, cast biographies, audio reenactments by the likes of Kate Beckinsale and Michael Sheen, and hours of engaging animation—is sure to win you over.
2.English Idioms Illustrated
Both native speakers and EFL students have much to learn from this app, which shows the meaning of over 160 English idioms with both text and visual illustrations. The first 23 idioms—bite the bullet, knuckle down, up to scratch—are free.
Over 200 artists, both classic and modern, are featured in this app, which includes full Wikipedia biographies and numerous images of their work. Search artists by name or their work, select and save your favorites to a personal gallery, and quiz yourself on it all.
Although it comes with a $7.99 price tag, Byki has numerous words and phrases in 15 languages, ranging from English to Russian, Tagalog to Irish. Most importantly, Byki allows users to hear the language spoken by native speakers to catch every nuance and even search Twitter for specific words to see how real people use them.
5.Nota for iPad
Nota has been sighted on TV commercials, Gizmodo, and CNet. This app appeals to both aspiring and advanced musicians with a piano chord and scale browser, note locater, note quiz, and a reference library with over a hundred symbols. Don’t play it in a library, though—it emits chords and notes from a grand piano with excellent clarity.
Science & Math
There’s no longer any need to invest in a pricey graphing calculator if one has an iPhone. For just $1.99, users can access a graphing calculator’s full capabilities that Time Magazine included in their top 10 back to school apps.
Never fear chemistry again. With Elements, users have instant access to the entire periodic table as never seen before, this time with 360-degree views of each element along with up-to-date data from Wolfram|Alpha, such as the current price of Au (gold).
With augmented reality for 4th generation devices, aspiring astronomers can simply look up and find out what constellation they’ve been admiring. Star Walk has real time motion tracking as well as nifty tools like a calendar of celestial events, Time Machine (which allows you to see the sky at any hour in the past or future), as well as sharing capabilities. Whether taking an astronomy class or not, this app is worth the $2.99 price tag.
No student of any discipline should be without the TED app, which allows us all a glimpse at ideas worth spreading while on the move.
All the information one garners, whether in a classroom, Skype session, or on a laptop, is sure to be fleeting without proper notes. Student Pad supplies e-learners with classic school binder essentials, like a schedule of classes; a calculator with everything from arithmetic, derivation, and series functions; graphing functions; and a built-in notebook for writing and sketching by hand. Download PDF books and flip pages, add sticky notes, and search via the table of contents. Epsilon is working on a new version, so give them a heads-up of what you’d like to see as an e-learner.
Author info: Carlina Yepinski is the primary researcher and writer for networkmonitoring.org. Her most recent accomplishments includes graduating from Kentucky State with a degree in communications and computer science. Her current focus for the site involves network activity monitors and free network monitoring software.