50 Impressive iPad Apps to Fuel Lifelong Learners
Long after degrees have been conferred and careers have been launched, many folks just can’t seem to quit school. For them, life provides an overstuffed cornucopia of educational opportunities that don’t necessarily require hefty loans and navigating different professorial strategies. Those with a lust for learning who happen to also enjoy testing the limits of what the iPad offers definitely don’t have to worry about finding resources to pique their fancy. Hundreds, if not thousands, of apps are out there just twitching for users to fire them up and absorb a mental nugget or two.
History and Geography
- World Atlas HD:
iPad users can download this stunning, popular digital atlas by the National Geographic Society and educate themselves about the planet’s physical and cultural properties and relationships.
Stay up-to-date with the latest news and views from the House of Representatives and the Senate with profiles of Congresspeople and information about current bills.
- National Geographic Today:
Indulge in bite-sized, nourishing daily doses of geography videos, photos, and more through the globe-trotting juggernaut.
- WORLD BOOK – This Day in History for iPad:
Like the title states, this app displays what historical events happened on what particular day; flipping through the calendar function and looking ahead is encouraged!
- History: Maps of the World:
History and geography (duh) collide on this very popular resource, which provides access to maps past and present so users can watch how borders and projections shift over time.
- Constitution and Federalist Papers:
Win (or lose, but we’re trying to be nice here) any argument about American politics by keeping some of its core founding documents on hand as a reference.
- Google Earth:
Explore the world in veritable real-time thanks to the detailed (and sometimes super creepy) Google Earth tool, now available on the iPad.
- World History Atlas for iPad:
Maps.com provides an absolutely stunning visual resource about the most important, influential maps — and their corresponding events — of all time.
- 205 National Anthems, Maps, Flags, Facts:
Enjoy a crash course in the basic characteristics of 205 countries and use it as a springboard into deeper geographical inquiry.
- Top 100 – People in History:
Read up on the biographies of some of the world’s most influential names and kickstart lessons in some not-so-famous folks who still left a major impact.
Language, Reading, and Writing
- British Library: Treasures HD:
Access some of the world’s rarest and most influential manuscripts from anywhere thanks to the British Library’s seriously cool high-def app collecting some of its most memorable holdings.
Lifelong learners who want to pick up a second, third, or fourth language will get quite a bit of use out of this handy app helping them with their vocabulary in more than 50 tongues!
iBooks converts the iPad into an ebook reader, so users enjoy near-immediate access to thousands of free and paid publications both popular and obscure.
iPad enthusiasts adore Instapaper because it allows them to save their favorite blogs and websites for offline reading and (hopefully!) enjoyment.
This highly acclaimed handwriting app means no future Fitzgerald will ever lose an idea because of a lack of writing implements in the immediate vicinity!
If iBooks and Instapaper brought a bundle of digital joy into the world, it would probably resemble Goodreader and cause a bit of a family rift. Use it to indulge in anything from ebooks, Microsoft Office documents, .pdfs, audio, video, and many more media!
- TOTALe Studio HD:
Rosetta Stone TOTALe subscribers can download this free app to help them along on their language-learning voyage.
- Reading Rainbow:
Nostalgic parents who want to encourage their kids to “take a look, it’s in a book” and share a love of the written word must absolutely take advantage of the brand new Reading Rainbow resource.
- Chronicle for iPad – a personal journal:
Whether writing for public or personal consumption, Chronicle makes keeping track of ideas in a digital notebook painless and easy.
Join up with this wildly popular (and free!) social network and use the app to rate and catalog books read, currently reading, and to be read, as well as snag recommendations from other participants and automated reports.
Open Source and General Learning
Venerable open source institution TED makes its impressive suite of video lectures on every subject imaginable available on the iPad for maximum infotainment.
- Khan Academy:
Like TED, Khan Academy features some incredible videos by experts hoping to educate viewers about anything and everything they might find interesting.
- iTunes U:
Some of the top universities in the world contribute to iTunes U, providing open source content to keep users constantly learning.
Put those brand new skills to the test with this amazing customizable flashcard app that allows users to write up their own quick quizzes.
Watch favorite educational PBS programming anywhere, anytime, and even pick up shows broadcast only in other cities.
Channel that creativity into shooting and editing movies directly on the iPad – perfect for lifelong learners who want to share everything they’ve picked up on their educational journeys.
- BrainPOP Featured Movie:
Because BrainPOP aims itself at kids, the app works best for parents wanting to spend time with their children in edifying ways. Every day, it features a new movie about a different subject, crammed full of fun facts and other quick tidbits.
The groundbreaking open source encyclopedia is available for both browsing and editing, and lifelong learners can use it to both add to their own knowledge banks and contribute to others’.
Read and ask questions of living philosophers and philosophy experts about both the pressing questions of the day and general inquiries about the nature of life, the universe, and everything.
NPR’s official app features more than just current events — iPad enthusiasts love listening to podcasts, watching videos, and reading stories about the latest movements within science and culture.
- Dictionary.com – Dictionary & Thesaurus for iPad:
Lifelong learners will undoubtedly come across words they just plain don’t know, so keeping a digital dictionary and thesaurus on hand should be considered essential.
eHow provides instructions about doing almost anything and everything, making it a great resource for DIY types hoping to pick up new skills.
- Encyclopaedia Britannica:
If Wikipedia’s open editing format makes you doubt the information, consult its prodigious predecessor instead, though a subscription fee is required.
- Musee de Louvre:
Art lovers browse the legendary halls of the Louvre without having to travel to Paris and soak up everything they can about the world’s most influential and famous works.
- Wolfram Alpha:
Turn the iPad into a veritable Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (yes, we know we’re mixing up our sci-fi references here) by downloading this amazing, low-cost app that generates reports on pretty much anything imaginable when one types in and sends an inquiry.
Part search engine, part community, Ask.com encourages participants to post up questions and receive detailed answers.
- Guinness World Records: At Your Fingertips:
Sometimes the records people break are quite silly indeed, but that doesn’t mean Guinness’ official app isn’t worth keeping on hand for quick factoids and debate settling!
- First Aid by American Red Cross:
Definitely a handy app to keep in hand, as it overflows with information on how to administer First Aid for most common (and some not-so-common) incidents.
- 2012 World Factbook:
Every year, the CIA releases its World Factbook via iPad — among other mediums, of course — and presents the most current geographical, cultural, economic, and political data regarding all the nations.
- Articles for iPad:
While it fetches information from Wikipedia, Articles so often lands on recommended lists because it enhances the experience even further using maps, more streamlined searches, saves, and other time-saving features.
Science and Math
- Star Walk:
Point a Star Walk-enabled iPad device towards the sky and learn all about the night’s current offerings, from their history to their scientific classifications.
- The Elements:
One of the most talked-about apps of all time delves deeply into the periodic table through videos, photos, and detailed information about every element.
While mainly targeting kids, critics adore MathBoard for its accessible lessons in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Lifelong learners needing a little push in the math department might want to check out what it has to offer as a refresher.
No matter what kind of calculating users require, chances are MathStudio offers up such a function to help them get things done.
- Popular Science+:
Subscribers to the beloved periodical enjoy extended content — not to mention full issues — in digital format, providing them with a wealth of information about a wide range of scientific content.
- Frog Dissection:
Get a traditional three-dimensional anatomy lesson without the ethical questions and chemical stench for only $3.99!
- Math Ref Free:
Math Ref Free helpfully provides both novices and wizards a quick resource for looking up the formulas, equations, and advice about all different mathematical disciplines.
- Math Formulas – Reference Guide:
Consider this a handy-dandy cheat sheet when self-learning the principals of math, though be forewarned that it mostly targets the high school levels.
- Mythbusters HD:
Discovery Channel’s fabulous Mythbusters crew keep on blending entertainment and science together via videos exclusive to the iPad app.
- PLoS Reader:
On lazy days when lifelong learners would rather read than interact, the PLoS Reader lets them scan articles from seven different scientific journals.