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6 E-Learning Apps for an Optimum Online Learning Experience

December 5, 2018 No Comments

Featured article by Oli Kang, Independent Technology Author

In today’s day and age, it makes more sense to whip out your phone and learn about events happening around the world than to open the TV and wait for the news. With over 2.5 billion people owning or using a smartphone, it’s easier than ever to send, receive, and access information regardless of location.

Almost everything can be solved using an app, from shopping from your couch to learning new skills while commuting or simply enjoying a walk in the park. Given this situation, most online courses platforms offer apps that make access to knowledge smoother and faster.

Given the diversity of the E-learning market, the platforms that can be accessed using mobile devices are divided into two main categories:

- mobile optimized platforms
- native mobile apps.

Let’s have a look at each type and understand more about their advantages.

Mobile Optimized Platforms

Mobile E-learning can be used by both individuals and corporations, as it helps students increase the time spent learning (since they don’t need to be in a specific location). As long as they have a smartphone and Internet access, they have the tools to start their journey to improvement.

For instance, if you want to enroll in an online business course, all you need is a subscription with the right platform and a mobile browser.

E-learning platforms that are optimized for mobile use are designed to display the course content in an easy-to-follow manner on a mobile device. Also, you still have access to all the features needed for learning, such as:

- Video tutorials
- Text editing features
- View lesson modules separately
- Viewing progress reports
- Contacting teachers via email or form, and more

The idea is that any E-learning platform optimized for use with a mobile device will offer the same experience as a laptop or a PC does.

Native Mobile Apps

A native e-learning mobile app has the advantage of being perfectly integrated with the device’s features. Furthermore, mobile e-learning apps offer a new approach to how content is shown. Due to the limited screen space, the information must be offered in a more succinct manner, thus helping students optimize the learning experience.

Best E-Learning apps for iOS

iTunes U (free)

The app is designed and supported by Apple and offers access to a plethora of free online courses (over 75,000 materials). The courses are developed by instructors from a wide range of universities and come with interesting information and materials (video and audio tutorials, ebooks, and more).

The app also has tools for students (notes or text highlighting, annotations), to make learning a bit easier and for instructors (grading, lesson planning, and others). While it may not offer highly specialized information, the app is a fantastic way to broaden ones’ knowledge and skills.

Pros:

- Access to free courses
- Students have access to courses from prestigious universities
- Tools for both students and instructors

Cons:

- Information is not specialized in a certain niche

Educreations Interactive Whiteboard (free & paid versions)

The app takes E-learning one step forward and supports the idea of a digital classroom. This way, students can join in an interactive course, instructors can create short tutorials with videos and animations, and students can participate.

This makes learning more of a common experience and increases motivation and interest in the subject. Of course, all the lessons are stored in the cloud, so students can access them at any given time.

Pros:

- Interactive lessons
- Possibility to use a wide range of creative tools
- Instructors can create digital classes
- Instructors have access to grading tools
- Can work offline (in the pro version)

Cons:

- Courses are not well-organized in the app
- No audio editing possibilities

Best E-Learning apps for Android & iOS

Skill Pill (free to download)

The app is most recommended to be used in a corporate environment. The app is free to download, but to access the content you need an account with the main platform (which is not free).

The beauty of this app stands in the ability to divide the content in bite-size lessons, that can be easily enjoyed in one serving (so to speak). With a subscription to the Skill Pill library, your team has access to a wide range of learning tools and materials, created by professionals in their field.

Pros:

- Animated learning for increased engagement
- Highly-specialized courses
- Easy to use in a corporate setting

Cons:

- You need a paid subscription to access the library
- Instructors can’t create their own courses.

Coursera (free to access)

The Coursera platform is known worldwide for the quality of courses they offer for free and the variety of their content. You can enroll in courses from prestigious universities (such as Cornell, MIT, or Harvard) and the diplomas issued by the platform are recognized by most institutions and employers.

The platform comes with courses for almost any niche, but the information is not highly specialized. However, it is a wonderful way to acquire new skills or deepen the ones you already have.

Pros:

- Free to use
- Lots of courses form all sorts of fields
- Specialized learning tools

Cons:

- The content is mostly general
- You need to pay for certification

Lynda (paid)

Focused at students interested in getting new technology skills (photography, 3D modeling, programming, web design, and more), the platform is a cornucopia of lessons. Due to their recent merger with LinkedIn Learning, the app is now more fluent and has more learning tools than ever.

Students can get recommendations based on their history with the platform and the app also works offline. Furthermore, it’s easy to use the platform in a multi-device setting due to the Chromecast setting.

Pros:

- Sharing features
- A plethora of courses in the new technology sector
- Highly-trained instructors
- A wide range of tools that will make learning easier

Cons:

- Paid subscription
- Only courses for new technologies sector
- The app can get glitchy if the network is slow

Brightstorm (free)

Not all E-learning apps are oriented towards professionals who want to get better. Brightstorm is designed for teenagers and offers video tutorials and lessons on school subjects (calculus, biology, physics, and more).

The app offers an alternative to the educational system and can be a fantastic study buddy for kids who are fed up with the standard way of learning.

Pros:

- A wide range of video materials
- Access to a specialized Admission expert
- Access to better teachers & a new way of learning

Cons:

- Only for teenagers
- Some subjects are lacking in examples

Wrap Up

The list of great E-learning apps can easily continue because there are lots of great tools out there. However, the ones mentioned above cover a wide range of topics and are supported by some of the most notorious education institutions in the world.

Furthermore, there is an app out there for everyone, whether you’re a corporation looking to improve the skills of your employees, a professional looking to change their line of work, or a kid interested in a different approach.

About the Author

Oli Kang is a working mum who has a passion for teaching and all things educational. With a background in marketing, Oli manages the digital channels and content at Courses.com.au 

 

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