Apps for efficient learning: 8 picks from the TEDxOtaniemi crew


These are the most liked apps right now for efficient learning according to our team.

Have you ever wondered how to start a new language easily, when you don't really have the time to go to any classes or devote your time for certain hours? Or would you like to learn how to get your brain more effective?

Our TEDxOtaniemi crew has curated a list for you so that you can check out some of the coolest learning apps right now in the market. Some of them are highly gamified and thus addictive – a word of caution! ;) 

We hope this list inspires you to try out new things and explore the amazing world of apps. May this list bring you joy, meaning, and usefulness to your daily life!

Get your learning mode on with these wonderful apps:

1. Duolingo (Languages)

This app is wonderful! Not only is it easy to use but it also lets one decide what language one wants to learn and when. It's also gamified so you get easily hooked by leveling up!

Version for all devices.

2.  Khan Academy (Learn anything)

In the academy, you can study pretty much anything with a wide selection of courses. It's definitely worth giving a try! They even add new courses on a daily basis, so you won't get bored.

Works in web.

3. Treehouse (Software development)

Treehouse might be the most advanced learning platform for learning to be a software developer. You can actually do the coding in their platform so it does not require any separate installations for you to run code.

Works in web.

4. Itunes University

Watch and learn from recordings of talks and lectures from the worlds top universities like Yale, Cambridge, Harvard or MIT. You can also have discussions with other students or even create your own courses!

Only for IOS (iPhone & iPad).

5. Memrise (Languages)

Memrise is a very practical app, since whenever you're busy you can review words and phrases even in the bus or the subway. Memrise offers courses in languages, and once you select a language, there are four practice methods that you'll go through.

Try the intensive speed review game, in which you have to connect as many words to their meanings as possible within a very short time span. Every time you get something right, you get points that will help you advance to the next level.

Version for all devices.

6. Lumosity (Cognitive abilities)

This app is perfect for training your wits and intelligence. It's a miniature, gamified learning app for your brain. The app includes over 50 fun games to get improve your cognitive abilities.  

Version for all devices.

7. Acceleread (Productivity)

With this app you can practice the speed of your reading. Thus, you can read faster, which saves your time. The app offers a guided course, which not only takes into account your current reading level but also your desired performance goals.

Only for IOS (iPhone & iPad).

8. Yousician (Music)

You should really try this app if you want to learn how to play musical instruments step-by-step! Tutorials fit your level and follow your learning process which is fun and entertaining at the same time. Currently Yousician supports all acoustic and electric guitars, bass, piano and ukulele.

Tell us in the comments what type of learning-related apps you would recommend for others!

Learning is a journey, where everybody wins

Image source:

Image source:

Learning is a lifelong path with hurdles that takes courage, persistence, and enthusiasm.

Learning is an on-going process, a journey, rather than a destination, where one can arrive at a given point of time. It requires active observation, sensitivity, and reaction to either internal or external cues instead of passiveness or withdrawal. Hereby, it is possible to both produce completely new meanings and connections to subjects and reshape existing beliefs and patterns.

Learning can vary in size and appearance. Whereas it is possible to comprehend vast and fundamental ideas and concepts, it is also worthwhile to grasp tiny details; practicalities and general pragmatism. In order to fully reap the benefits and versatility of learning, it is best if one exposes oneself to diverse, new, enticing, and even somewhat intimidating situations. By confronting with and engaging in various types of situations and socializing with different people, one is able to develop or hone one's skills and understanding to the fullest.

This, in turn, takes quite a lot of courage. It requires an open mindset and a fearless attitude. Ideally, one should not be afraid of making mistakes or failing. Failing, essentially, should be considered as an attempt to learn. Whereas failing may not lead to desired prestige or outcome, it is a crucial step in the overall process of learning that none of us can bypass. Ultimately, learning is a loop of interconnected phases, where errors occur. We learn through trial and error.

Besides boldness, learning entails dedication and motivation. By coupling the softer side of learning – namely, willingness for innovation and creativity – with the more rigid and tougher side of learning – that is, intrinsic persistence and discipline – truly remarkable and noteworthy outcomes may be achieved. Not only is hard work especially valued in a society, it also teaches us modesty and appreciation towards the learning experience. Ambition, herein, becomes central to success.

As referred in the introductory section, learning also involves meaning-making. This is a process, whereby an individual establishes connections between extant knowledge and novel information. If one is passionate and joyous about learning new things and expanding one's understanding, the process of meaning-making becomes easier. In addition, various tactics can be employed in order to facilitate the process. One of them is the concept of 'play', which introduces a gamified learning environment to spark enthusiasm and eagerness.

It's been said that when there is a will, there is a way. I could not personally agree more. Yet, I wish to open up the sentence a bit by suggesting that when there is a will to challenge the status quo despite potential adversities, a will to explore matters in a structured and driven manner, and a will to get excited about everything new and inspiring, we have an excellent basis for further development and evolution regarding the learning experience. 

By engaging in the aforementioned activities associated with the three 'wills', the definitive outcomes of self-development and self-fulfillment may be actualized and capitalized. Only then can real value be created for an individual.

Text written by Krista Palmu, a TEDxOtaniemi volunteer