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The 8 Best Learning Apps of 2023 – Best Educational Apps For Kids and Students


These cross-platform apps turn your device into an academy, Download these fun, educational picks for your toddler or grade schooler now — keep them busy for hours with the Best Learning Apps!

Best Learning Apps

It’s never too late to broaden your knowledge, and in the digital age, information has never been more accessible. Here are 10 of the best mobile and Best Learning Apps to help you pursue your quest for understanding, wherever that may take you.

Our experts work together with our consumer panel to test the Best Learning Apps out there based on ease of use, engagement, price point and tech pitfalls. We’ve reviewed dozens of apps to bring you our favorites. These are the best of the best for engaging, entertaining and educational content to help support and aid gaps while keeping your kids entertained, whether they’re in pre-school or high school. Grab your charger (or portable battery) and download the Best Learning Apps in 2023:

Our top picks for the Best Learning AppsBest Learning Apps

  • Best Educational App for Kids in High School: Duolingo
  • Best for watching short talks about innovative New Ideas: Ted
  • Programming Language Learning Experience: Codeacademy

  • Best App for learning Languages Through Memory Device: Memrise
  • Best Educational App for All Ages: Khan Academy
  • Best App For Taking Top U.S. University Courses Online: edX
  • Best Logic Puzzle Solving App: Brilliant
  • Best Astronomy Learning and Stargazing Guide Hybrid App: NASA

Best Tool for Learning Another Language on the Go: Duolingo

The Duolingo Owl (the app’s mascot and icon) has been popping up as a meme all over social media in recent months, so chances are your high schooler knows what Duolingo is. Encourage them to take it one step further and download the app so they can learn a different language.

They can practice through audio, word identification, and oral exercises for over 30 languages — it’s a great way for your child to keep their language-learning skills sharp over the summer. P.S.: Parents can use this app, too!

What We Like
  • Exercises include multiple choice, writing, and listening questions.
  • A fun social media element gets you and your friends to challenge each other to learn.
What We Don’t Like
  • Lessons focus more on instilling rote phrases than teaching concepts like grammar.
  • It’s not enough to develop true fluency by itself.

Duolingo stands out among language learning apps; Best Learning Apps and among education apps overall. Duolingo includes dozens of languages, including a couple of fictional ones just for fun. Each language offers a mostly linear path divided into topics of conversation. Each topic presents you with short exercises to familiarize you with the material through spoken and written formats.

The app encourages you to make a habit of practicing with a reward system and a social component. You’ll receive between one and five lingots of app currency for each day in which you meet your set threshold. You can spend lingots in the store on power-ups and fun accessories. Concurrently, the in-app social network encourages you to invite your friends to the app and compare scores to see who studies the hardest.

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What We Like
  • Talks are short and span a variety of topics.
  • Offers a versatile viewing experience by allowing downloads or listening from a locked screen.
What We Don’t Like
  • Topics aren’t treated in-depth.
  • It doesn’t feature a full-fledged subscription system for specific topic categories.

Unlike most educational apps that strive to teach the fundamentals of existing knowledge, TED exposes its audience to a spectrum of innovative ideas that seek to reassess the world we live in; Best Learning Apps. Each TED talk is a spoken presentation from leaders in hundreds of fields. You’ll find everything from hard science to art and philosophy. Each talk, no matter the subject matter, is given at an accessible comprehension level.

While you can find talks on their website or YouTube channel, TED rewards you for making its app your go-to with some convenient features, including downloading videos for offline viewing and locking your device without interrupting playback.

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Best for an In-Depth Programming Language Learning Experience: Codeacademy

What We Like
  • Paths bundle courses together instead of leaving you to figure it out.
  • Every lesson has an interactive console for trying out code.
What We Don’t Like
  • They really push the paid tier, with no mobile app access and a limited course set for the free tier.

If you’re interested in any aspect of computers, Codeacademy is the place to satisfy your curiosity on the Best Learning Apps.

On Codeacademy, targeted lessons let you pick up skills one concept at a time. Code editors and interactive consoles are built into the app, so you never need to leave it or download any software. Courses are curated based on the kind of projects you want to tackle, and you don’t need to know anything about programming languages going in. Choose the direction you find most interesting, and Codeacademy presents groups of courses for you to take.

Whether in a series of courses or a standalone course, each lesson features a handful of steps. Each step has a short explanation of the concept to learn and a coding exercise. At the end of the lesson is a short quiz on all the steps from the lesson, then it’s on to the next.

You can take Codeacademy courses on its web app for the Best Learning Apps. However, its iOS and Android apps are only available to premium subscribers.

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Best App for Learning Languages Through Memory Devices: Memrise

What We Like
  • The encouragement to use mnemonic devices gives you a handle on tricky languages.
  • The ability to share and incorporate other users’ memory devices provides a social media feel.
What We Don’t Like
  • Like Duolingo, there isn’t a huge emphasis on teaching grammar. Instead, it favors words and phrases.
  • You probably won’t become fluent from using Memrise alone.

If you thought memes couldn’t teach you anything, think again. With Memrise, you can harness the collective power of the app’s users by making use of meme-like mnemonic devices designed to stick with you.

When learning new words or phrases, you’re encouraged to write a short association to use as a memory device. If you can’t think of one, you can choose from those submitted by other users. By thinking about mnemonics, you’ll build confidence and vocabulary in new languages with associations that are natural to you. Aside from this, the app’s regimen yields a gradual increase in vocabulary and concepts.

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Best Personal Tutor-Style Learning App: Khan Academy

Teachers, parents, and kids are all a fan of the Khan Academy app that features thousands of free resources on everything from early math to art history for the Best Learning Apps. From preschool to high school, children of all ages can enjoy and learn on this non-profit’s platform. All of its programming is entirely free, so you don’t have to worry about subscription fees. Parents of our testers say that the videos helped each kid learn at their own pace. For those with kids under 4, check out their child-friendly counterpart, Khan Academy Kids on iOS or Android, which features a lot of the great elements of the older app at an age appropriate level.

What We Like
  • The personal tutor style and reliance on drawn visual aids is a unique twist on online lectures.
  • A strong personal philosophy from the founder means it will always be free.
What We Don’t Like
  • The topics are limited and geared toward math and science fields.
  • The courses are taught by the same guy, so if you don’t like his style, there’s not much you can do.

Khan Academy is another app offering courses on a range of subjects. It does so in a personal one-on-one style rather than a recorded lecture.

The app places a strong emphasis on diagrams and visual aids, relying on a digital drawing board to accommodate other learning styles. While it favors math and science topics, it also features humanities courses such as history and art.

Whether on its mobile iOS or Android apps, online through YouTube, or its dedicated web app, Khan Academy is completely free, a core tenet of founder Salman Khan’s philosophy.

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Best App For Taking Top U.S. University Courses Online: edX

Founded by Harvard and MIT, edX is one of the top Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC) platforms which is also listed on the Best Learning Apps. It allows anyone free access to university courses from the country’s top universities and professors.

Although courses are free, if users want official course credit, they will have to pay: Fees can vary massively. Still, the app offers thousands of courses in a wide range of subjects from universities like Harvard, UC Berkeley, MIT, Michigan, and many international universities. Sessions range from practical offerings like Japanese Business Management to enrichment classes like Intro to Italian Opera.

edX courses are available in a range of languages, though there are many more options in English. Courses vary in length—some are six weeks long, others last 11 weeks—and most involve a commitment of three to six hours a week. Video lectures are followed by short quizzes, and for more hands-on courses like computer programming, there are interactive labs and features.

In addition to one-off courses, edX offers professional certificate programs, such as the MicroMasters Program, to help working adults beef up their resumes and professional development.

What We Like
  • Take real courses from top U.S. universities online for free.
  • Technical courses like programming include online interactive tools such as code consoles for labs.
What We Don’t Like
  • Course credit often isn’t free and costs a lot.
  • If you don’t start a course live, you don’t get the same experience, such as access to lecturers or forum boards.

When it comes to the old adage that you get what you pay for, edX is the exception to the rule. edX provides free access to university courses, taught by professors, at some of the most prestigious schools in the U.S. via video. Courses are free, and the app extends the option to pay for certification, which can count as college credit.

Available subjects run the gamut, with extensive offerings in science and technology subject areas. Classes feature video lectures followed by short quizzes and, for some subjects such as programming, interactive online labs.

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Best Logic Puzzle Solving App: Brilliant

What We Like
  • The focus on learning through puzzle-solving is a novel way to learn and offers options to those who learn differently.
  • The learning style options at setup let you set your pace and style.
What We Don’t Like
  • There isn’t always a lot of instruction before each question, so learners may feel under-prepared.
  • As with many of these apps, this one is heavy on math and science, and light on everything else.

If you’re the kind of student that learns best through firsthand practice, Brilliant is exactly what you’re looking for. Brilliant teaches an array of science and math subjects through hands-on problem-solving.

The Best Learning Apps favors short descriptions of concepts to learn paired with a problem to solve, which incorporates those concepts. Unlike other learning apps, Brilliant doesn’t wait until the end of dense reading to test you and instead proceeds incrementally to build your toolset. Another helpful feature is the option to see the answer if you’re stumped. This feature spares you from blindly guessing and clues you into the factors that may have caused you to hesitate.

Brilliant also allows you to tailor your learning experience based on what you want to get out of it. The app prompts you to choose a study style or purpose during the setup, whether it’s for boosting your career or pure curiosity. This way, it can push you the right amount for your goals.

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Best Astronomy Learning and Stargazing Guide Hybrid App: NASA

What We Like
  • The app lets you learn about space directly from the people exploring it.
  • Multiple formats let you read articles, watch videos, or go outside and stargaze.
What We Don’t Like
  • The interface isn’t the cleanest, so it might be hard to navigate.
  • It focuses on new astronomy discoveries, so you might have to spend time brushing up on the basics.

Space is so vast that leading-edge astronomers are continually learning more about it. So, why should you settle for yesterday’s astronomy lessons? The NASA app is one of the few educational apps that teaches you what’s going on in one of the most fascinating fields of scientific study.

The NASA app serves up articles and videos that teach the basics of astronomy. Where it really shines like a white dwarf is its focus on giving you a look at the latest developments from NASA’s work. You’ll learn about NASA’s latest missions, and the app directs you where to look to catch upcoming celestial events like eclipses and planetary sightings.


How we test educational apps

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The technology and parenting experts at the Simmyideas Tech Hub know very well just how dizzying it can be to figure out which kids’ apps are worth downloading and buying (and which are safe and truly kid-friendly) — which is why we tested to find the best ones on the market.

We consulted our consumer panel made up of real parents and their children to whittle down the field to the apps that are age-appropriate, easy to use, informative and fun. Our experts evaluate each app to see how easy it is for children to use independently, how engaging the content is, whether or not it’s worth its price, how long and effectively it can keep children interested, any tech pitfalls and whether it aids children’s development in the ways it indicates.

What to look for in the best educational apps for your kids

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✔️ Safety: It’s important to protect your personal information and avoid getting scammed. Consider how much information the is app requesting from you and if the app requests additional verification when you log in. Aside from personal safety, is the app even safe to download? Check out the number of times the app has been downloaded, the rating, reviews and look over the permissions list as well as the app description before hitting download. We evaluated each of the apps we’ve recommended for safety to help alleviate concerns for you, your family and your devices.

✔️ Features: Consider what you are hoping to get out of this Best Learning Apps: Are you just looking for something that will play fun videos or do you want your little one to be able to engage in educational learning games? Some apps offer personalized learning plans that let you check your progress as you move forward, while others are just for one-off entertainment. Depending on what subject you’re hoping for your child to master and how your child learns best, keep an eye out for the extra features of each app to ensure that they’re the right fit for your family.

✔️ Ease of use: One of the best parts about learning apps is the ability for your child to navigate them on their own. Not only will this help them develop their independence and strengthen their problem-solving skills, but will give you a much needed break while they’re entertained. Make sure the app is intuitive enough for them to handle on their own.

✔️ Age: Make sure your picks are age appropriate for your little one. They are sure to be frustrated and upset if you accidentally put them in 7th grade math while they’re only 8! To get the most benefit out of each app experience, make sure that they’re not learning at too low or too high of a level.

✔️ Price: Many of our favorite picks are free, but a few of the more specialized apps feature paid upgrades or monthly subscriptions with access to all of their unlimited games and videos. Consider how much you’re willing to shell out on apps on a regular basis — if your kids are learning and entertained, it may be worth the splurge!

✔️ Engagement: Keeping your child entertained and engaged is one of the most important aspects of a good app. If your kid isn’t excited to hop on and spend time learning new things, watching videos or playing the app’s games, then it doesn’t matter how helpful the app is if they can’t even be bothered to log in.

Why trust Simmyideas Tech Hub?

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The Simmyideas Tech Hub provides expert reviews and advice on everything a parent and their kids needs, including educational apps. The testing for this article was overseen by Simmy the STH Institute’s Chief Technologist & Director of Engineering. For more than 10 years, Simmy has put her training in Electrical and Computer engineering to work by researching, testing and writing about Tech products.

In her role as Parenting & Pets Reviews Analyst, Marvel brings years of experience to the Institute, having reviewed products for Simmyideas.

Simmyideas Tech Hub reviews the latest mobile phones, smart gadgets, software, Tech Tips and other related Tech Products. We aim to deliver honest reviews, from a user perspective to help you choose the best tech for your needs. Send emails to [email protected]

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