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Itching to learn something new but don’t have enough in your budget to pay for classes? No problem! As long as you aren’t aiming to study a topic that’s incredibly niche and specialized, you can use one of the following apps to earn yourself up to a college-level education without paying a cent.
Of course, proper instruction from a qualified teacher would be better than simply learning from an app, so it should be made clear that these apps are only recommended as supplements or when a formal education is not an option for whatever reasons.
Coursera has proven itself as one of the best places to get an online education for free. They’ve partnered with 100+ top universities from all over the world to provide quality education at a price everyone can afford and their selection is vast: 600+ courses across 20+ subject areas.
While Coursera classes do follow a schedule, it’s flexible enough that you aren’t locked into specific times of day. Classes are interactive, available in at least 14 languages, and all course contents are provided free of charge to download at your convenience. Get started with these must-learn Coursera courses.
Alternatives to Coursera include Udemy, which contains a mixture of free and paid courses, and Udacity [No Longer Available], which is an online course platform that focuses strictly on programming-related topics.
Khan Academy [No Longer Available]
We’ve praised Khan Academy multiple times over the years, and we still love it. For those who don’t know, Khan Academy is a free online education platform with 4,000+ micro lectures that break down complex university topics into terms that can be understood by everyday people.
With it, you can learn about dozens of subject areas under math, science, economics, humanities, computing, and even test preparation. Khan Academy is pioneering a completely new way to look at education.
While this is an unofficial app (they only put out official apps for iOS and Windows Phone), it’s still incredibly useful, especially the ability to take topics offline and watch when you don’t have an Internet connection. The only downside is that it only works on tablets.
Other great video-as-learning apps include Grace [No Longer Available] and Mobento [No longer available], both of which work by aggregating video content from many different educational sources (including Khan Academy).
Sometimes, education isn’t enough. Sometimes, you need a healthy dose of insight. For that, there are few places you can turn to that are as effective and enlightening as TED Talks. No other organization has built up such a large collection of interesting speakers from all over the world.
Not convinced yet? Take a look at these TED Talks about social media impact, revolutionary social relationships, human psychology and behavior, creativity and passion, and even learning how to be motivated. Seriously, take a look!
There are 1,700+ videos to explore and most of them have been translated and made available in 22 different languages.
Did you know that your Android can help you learn new languages? With Busuu, you’ll be able to learn how to read, write, and speak in 11 of the world’s most popular languages. And the best part is that Busuu’s techniques are more intuitive and impactful than reading dry books.
Busuu courses have been designed according to the CEFR, a reputable framework for effectively learning new languages. You can even interact with the community of 45+ million users and practice your new language by speaking with native speakers. The app also comes with the ability to set goals and track progress.
For those who love outer space, this app is a must. Star Chart brings the night sky right to your phone (or tablet) and grants you the ability to explore it from any angle. Just hold your device up in the air and the app will determine where you’re pointing based on your location and orientation.
Star Chart’s database includes all 88 constellations and 120,000+ different stars. Tap on an entity to learn more about it, zoom and move around using finger gestures, and use the Time Shift feature to see what everything looked like up to 10,000 years in the past or future.
It’s a wonderful tool to bring along the next time you go hiking.
For these reasons, we consider Star Chart to be one of the best currently available astronomy apps for Android. If Star Chart isn’t enough for you, perhaps you could try one of the others: Solar Walk or Sky Map.
The recent trend in academics has been to place emphasis on STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). While those topics are important, they aren’t so important as to justify the neglect of other topics; namely, the humanities.
How much do you know about fine art? There’s a good chance that you think of fine art as pretentious, irrelevant, or even detrimental to society. Part of that is true — fine art could stand to lose some of its elitist edge — but there’s a lot of history and beauty to be found if we would just give it a chance.
Daily Art publishes one piece of fine art every day along with a bit of information about it. Who created it? What’s significant about it? Why should you care? It’s an effortless way to build your appreciation for fine art.
Speed Anatomy Quiz [No Longer Available]
How much do you know about your own body? When asked, would you be able to point to your kidneys, pancreas, or spleen? How about your pharynx, appendix, or sacrum? Anatomy is one of the densest subjects to learn but this app will make it 10x easier. Its usefulness cannot be understated.
Speed Anatomy Quiz is a game that asks you to point out various body parts within a time limit. The faster and more precise you are, the more points you earn. Granted, this app only teaches you about body part locations, not functions. However, it’s a fantastic first step towards learning more about the human body.
What’s Your Favorite?
We’ve covered a lot here, but there are plenty of other apps that can provide a free education. What are they? Which ones have you found most useful?
Please share with us in the comments below!