Even though at the time of this writing, the best selling iPhone application is “iFart,” one shouldn’t assume that the iPhone doesn’t have anything intelligent to offer. The iPhone is a fantastic learning tool if used correctly. Here are four ways that the iPhone can teach its users everything from cars to English, and more.
1. WikiPanion Application – This free iPhone app puts all of Wikipedia at your fingertips. Granted, it’s not a perfect encyclopedia, but studies have shown that it’s roughly as accurate (or more accurate) than any standard encyclopedia. Read up on thousands of articles the next time you’re waiting in line, to refresh your memory or learn something new.
2. “Classics” Application – For just a buck, you can get this iPhone app, which gives you a host of classic books like Hound of the Baskervilles, Paradise Lost, and Metamorphosis. These books are presented in an easy to handle format, with a little bit of text on each page and a satisfying page-flipping sound when each page is switched. While you can’t load your own books into the Classics app, you’re sure to learn some new vocab from the app, and you’ll look a whole lot smarter, too. Add in the fact that Classics costs less than a copy of any of the books it offers and you’ve got a great iPhone application for readers. Amazon’s Kindle can eat its heart out.
3. Podcasts – There are a lot of great learning podcasts that you can access on iTunes and load onto your iPhone. NPR offers many of its talk programs for free via podcasting, so learn a bit about cars with Car Talk or about the American experience on This American Life. How Stuff Works has a podcast called Things You Missed in History Class that entertainingly and engagingly teaches history lessons. With enough searching, you can find a podcast on pretty much anything, and learn a bit on your daily commute rather than spending the time on music or weather.
4. “Shakespeare” Application – Like the Classics application, this iPhone app will give you something to read, provided that you enjoy the Bard’s works–it’s everything that Shakespeare ever wrote, presented in an easy-to-read fashion (although I wish that the page size was a bit smaller), and it’s completely free. Poems, sonnets, and plays are all included, with bookmarking ability. Great fun for English aficionados, and a pleasant learning environment for anyone who hasn’t gotten into Shakespeare.
Do you know another way to learn with the iPhone? Post in our comments section below.