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Do you ever look back on your school years and wish you’d paid more attention in history classes or been more focused during math lessons? Do you wonder if you could learn Japanese or understand economics? 

Well, the good news is you can start now—it’s never too late to learn. And in our computerized age we have virtually any kind of learning at our fingertips. Here is a listing of a few of the best learning applications available on your computer or tablet. Most are free and teach in modules you can do at your own pace. Some offer free introductions and then charge a subscription fee. All are user-friendly.

So, identify your new learning goals and away you go! 

Apps offering a large number of Courses

Khan Academy is a great place to begin your learning search because it offers such a wide variety of courses. All curriculum is planned by experts and is designed to make you successful. All programs are free. The organization is a non-profit and says, “We offer a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere.” Whether you want to brush up on your math understandings, or learn about art history, Khan has something for you. Coursera is another site offering a wide variety of coursework including business classes. The Great Courses, owned by Wondrium, offers hundreds of courses in a format known as “edutainment.” Courses are accessed online and streamed on platforms such as Amazon and Roku. These courses are purchased before use.

Brain Games

Many of us feel we’ve lost a bit of our ability to remember, reason and problem solve. We enjoy the challenge of games that help us tune up those skills. One such site is 2048 which is a single player game on a 4 by 4 grid. Players slide blocks to complete the puzzle. The game requires strategy and practice. Another brain-enhancing site is Lumosity, which offers over sixty games to improve memory, math skills, vocabulary, problem-solving and overall cognitive function. Plus, it’s fun. Other brain-building sites include Happyneuron, Braingle and BrainGymmer. Some of these sites offer a period of time at no cost, and then charge a subscription fee.

Language Programs

If you travel you may wish to brush up on your high school French or Spanish. Or, you may just be interested in learning to speak Greek or Hindi. There are many good language programs. Some of them are free and others have options requiring fees. All of them are well-designed to offer learning in small increments and have the capability of both listening and responding verbally plus written modules. Here are some of the top language learning applications:  Babbel, Duolingo, Pimsleur and Lingoda.

Technology and Business Learning Sites

Codecademy offers courses in all manner of computer science subjects including coding, data analysis, web design, artificial intelligence, data engineering and more. Udemy offers over 185,000 courses in the technology/business world. Courses include learning web design, marketing, software design and various business courses. Sololearn is a coding site offering courses in programming languages such as Python, Java and many others.

Adaptive Learning Apps

Braille Tutor offers braille lessons in short, easy lessons and continues to braille literacy. It is designed in game format and is very user-friendly. Proloquo2Go is an augmentative alternative communication program for those unable to speak. It is a board designed to use symbols and core words to communicate. SpeakIt! is a text to speech program in which the user types in words and the program speaks them aloud. 

There are many adaptive learning programs available for adults with hearing, vision or other physical impairments. Stroke victims often rely on such programs as do those with degenerative diseases.

Science Sites

Get involved in the science community by using your phone. That’s right, you can take part in science by collecting data and sending it to a science laboratory. For example, eBird allows amateur birdwatchers to collect data on local birds and MyShake from UC Berkeley allows you to send earthquake data from your area. Other science sites like NASA Globe Observer allows participants to send data on cloud cover or mosquito habitats and Star Walk allows you to use your phone’s camera to identify stars and planets. 

The above listings are just a sample of the educational applications available to everyone today. The programs are designed to begin with small, incremental bits of knowledge or learning and build on those step by step. Many of the programs are designed to teach you via games and all of them offer well-designed and user-friendly modules of learning.

What do you wish you knew? French or Italian? The history of Nepal? Or do you wish you could learn to code so you can share your learning with your grandkids? There are no limits to the world of learning, so hop onto one of these sites and get busy.