👍New Skill, New You

As a college student with little times on their hand, how do you find the time to try anything new nowadays? We have enough time to work on 5 projects, 3 essays, 2 presentations, and only enough to grab that cup of joe before your back on the run again to work or class. How can we possibly make time for that karate class that meets during your work hours or take up coding as a new skill when you don’t have enough free time in your schedule?

Thank heavens we have our phones to help with that problem.

The app store has never disappointed me in finding something new to learn or expand on with a newly obtained skill.

Learn a new language? Maybe pick up JavaScript coding as a new useful tool to put under your belt? Or maybe you want to spice up your cooking in some way?

Here are 5 mobile apps that can help you gain some skills while you’re on the go:

DuolingoWhat is it?

Duolingo is a multiplatform language learning app that teaches up to 37 languages with a range of 81 different language courses.  The app lets you decide you’re skill level for your chosen language and formulates a learning tree that you’re working to conquer over time.

While going through the learning nodes, you will acquire several lessons over time that include bite-sized translation practices, speech exercises, word matching, and several other activities to make the language stick.

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Duolingo also utilizes its reward system in its app the requires you to gain rewards after passing levels with its in-game currency—”lingots”— to purchase bonuses like outfits (for your little owl friend) and extra lessons. The app also had a leaderboard feature to it that you can use to face off against your friends OR if you’re more of the solo learner type, you can use the practice function against bots or by yourself.

  • Fun Find: I discovered while scavenging through the different languages that they also have Klingon and High Valyrian for those Trekkies or GOT thronees who want to learn how to spit some mad Klingon or High Valyrian game.

 

 

Review

The app is overall beneficial in walking you through the basics of wording and exact translations. The lessons pass you at a certain point, and that really motivated the completionist inside of me to finish them all with a 100% rating. It doesn’t overwhelm you with too much information and it follows you at your own learning pace. I do enjoy the gamification set up in the system that it’s in. It’s doesn’t get old quick and it keeps you consistent with your lessons.

However, it does have a few tweaks that you, the user, have to work out more on your end. The speech recognition feature still has a ways to go and doesn’t really give you that tool to teach you pronunciation fully. I would also like to mention that you should not rely on Duolingo wholeheartedly as your only resource for learning a new language. Although the mechanics are great, it doesn’t get into the concept of grammar and give you that face-to-face encounter that you would experience in real life.

Check out the iOS version here & the Android version here!


Duolingo (1)

What is it?

Grasshopper is a freemium coding app that teaches you the beginner essentials to Javascript coding. It was created by Google’s Area 120 group that aimed to make coding more fun than we imagine it to be.

This app challenges you to write real Javascript through the extension of visual challenges and puzzles. Real-time feedback is given to you while you engage in the challenges and they also give you a load of tips and tricks to utilize while you approach coding.

 

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Review

I am by no means a coder myself so when I learned about this app, I’ll admit I was a bit intimidated by it. However, this app understands that you have never touched a piece of HTML in your life and walks you through the process with step by step instructions. It actually makes coding, dare I say, fun to do. It uses user-friendly language while discussing the lessons and does it’s best to pinpoint any mistakes you have while coding.

I will say that the app is friendly with the user, it also has its limitations. While Javascript is the industry-standard program that companies use, the app doesn’t explore any other elements outside of that of that realm. For users that may want to travel outside that realm and into something different like Python, you won’t find that in this app. As the app states, it is a coding app for beginners so exploration of other programs will be up to the user’s end.

Check out the iOS version here & the Android version here!


 

Duolingo (4)

What is it?

Sidechef is a cooking app that features over 11,000 recipes with filtering mechanics, meal planning, ingredient delivery, step-by-step photos, videos, in-app timers, and more. They call themselves an “end-to-end cooking platform” that essentially means the app can help you through the entire cooking process.

When maneuvering with the app, you can work it alongside with your meal preferences and your diet. You can also create quick, easy shopping lists for your grocery store runs or have the ingredients delivered to your front door.

Review

I really wished I would have discovered this app before I got into college. Boy, would this have bettered my cooking by the long run. Pinterest is a great website to nab all your easy go-to recipes but this app can be the Goliath of cooking. It’s got it all. The recipes, the delivery of ingredients (if you want to pay extra), the visual step-by-step guides, and even tips to better your dish. This app welcomes a range of skillsets, beginners to professionals, to try out their spectrum of recipes.

The only downside I would find with this app is that it doesn’t provide all the nutritional facts that you need. The app has certain recipes that you cannot trade out ingredients unless you know the replacements for it. You’ll have to do your own personal research outside of the app to discover what you will or won’t like.

Check out the iOS version here & the Android version here!


Duolingo (2)

What is it?

Bivy is an adventure app that is used to record, track, and share different trails that people have ventured through. You can find new adventures near your location and follow the adventure details of others who have also traveled through those trails

You can keep track of all your locations you visited along the way and rate the travel on the app, notifying other users of your experience. 40,000+ adventures are fully mapped out for users to look at.

The app has over 17 different adventure types, hiking, biking, kayaking, skiing, rock climbing, and several more. The app also has a built-in profile feature where you can share your location with friends to make it safe for your travels.

Review

As a person who doesn’t know a lick about adventuring outside, this app made me realize all of the range of options for travel out there. I would call this more of a “summer” app that you can play around with. This app is pretty open to people looking for an adventure but doesn’t know where to start. I haven’t been able to traverse huge mountains or kayak across lakes but the app offers you to explore the location around you. I also really enjoy the tracking feature that marks you speed and distance traveled so far, this motivates me a lot while traveling!

I’ve found that the filter features can be a bit wonky and sometimes can’t filter specific factors that you would want to incorporate into your adventure. It’s sort of frustrating because you can find one type of adventure but not another.

Check out the iOS version here & the Android version here!


 

Duolingo (5)

What is it?

Lumosity is a free brain training app that stimulates your brain activity through fun and interactive puzzles. It offers over 40 games that test your critical thinking, memory, and problem-solving skills. This app also challenges your mental muscles through a range of activities that require your focus.

With 40 brain games to train your cognitive and academic abilities, you can also explore different modes that curate around what you enjoy and what you may need to work on. You can poke around workout mode which picks out games that tune with your habits and preferences.

Lumosity_3

This app relies a lot of its core assets on 100+ leading researchers, clinicians, and teachers from across the world. The app expands it’s training tools based on recent human cognition discoveries.

Review

This app is a blast when you need one of those brain workouts. It sounds weird to say that your brain needs to work out to stay active, but based off of this app it really does test the cognitive abilities that you use in your everyday life. I like how the exercises and puzzles are catered to your preferences, whether it’s memory enhancement or attention span adjustment, this app makes it’s your brain workout enjoyable.

The one issue that this app has is that over time, it grows old fast. Once you’ve mastered the first 10 or so games, you sort of grow bored with it. That’s the challenge with apps nowadays is that they need to keep up with their audience’s learning curve along with their attention.

Check out the iOS version here & the Android version here!


 

 

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