Whether you're laid over at the airport, stuck on the subway, or eating lunch there's no reason for those bits of idle time to be wasted. There are a bunch of smartphone apps on the market that can help you learn new skills and most lessons can be done in no time at all.
Here are five educational apps for Android that can help you make the most of your idle time by teaching you something new or strengthening the skills you already have.
You can watch videos, subscribe to classes, search for content, and do most everything you can do on the Khan Academy website.
SEE: Research: 77% plan further IT education to stave off obsolescence (Tech Pro Research)
Content on Khan Academy leans toward STEM topics, but there's also some other stuff as well: economics, entrepreneurship, and plenty of humanities topics are covered as well. Plenty of the videos that form the basis of classes are short—about 10 minutes in length—making Khan Academy a perfect educational distraction when you're on the go.
edX is all about delivering courses and certificate programs from leading universities. Marketing from Wharton, data science from Microsoft—even philosophy of mind from MIT is available.
Its Android app allows users to get course content on the go, along with reviewing assignments and taking quizzes. A lot of the courses are free, but the programs and certificates aren't. If you want to get the most out of edX it's going to cost you a few hundred bucks—still a lot less than attending a brick-and-mortar university.
Interested in improving your marketing skills? Google's Primer is for you. The Android app delivers fast, free marketing tips and strategies designed to give you a leg up on the competition.
The content is only available in the Android app and the website pushes you to download it from Google Play. It forces you to go mobile, but the content is worth it if you're involved in any kind of digital marketing.
Aspiring programmers will find a home at Udacity and its Android app. The courses offered on Udacity's website and mobile app are mainly geared toward those who want to learn to code, though there is other content as well.
SEE: Gallery: 10 Android apps every new mobile developer needs in their toolbox (TechRepublic)
You can sign up for Udacity for free, and there are a lot of free courses, but certificate programs will cost you.
LinkedIn-owned Lynda.com isn't free, but there is an extensive amount of content available on it. Many companies have accounts that employees can sign up for without having to pay—take the time to take advantage of that if possible.
The Lynda.com Android app offers all the same courses as the website, so if you want to try it (there's a 10-day trial avaiable) now is your chance!
- 10 free resources to help you learn to code (TechRepublic)
- Amazon rolls out Inspire, a free online education service for teachers (ZDNet)
- Can LinkedIn Learning help train your employees? (TechRepublic)
- Building a digital future: Should coding be mandatory for every schoolchild? (ZDNet)
- America's Millennials: Well educated but unskilled (CBS News)
Brandon Vigliarolo has nothing to disclose. He does not hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.