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Get smart: The 21 best educational apps for iPhone and Android

“Educational” is a broad term. When it comes to mobile apps, there’s a diverse range of software that falls under the umbrella of education, with offerings encompassing both first and third-party developers.

You could peruse the top educational offerings in any app store, but locating the best ones — and those that aren’t merely a fad — is more difficult than you think. Some are tailored for high school students, some for soon-to-be college graduates, and other still, are more apt for those who provide an education or those who still pine for knowledge long after school lets out for summer.

Related: 15 helpful apps for teachers and educators

Whether you’re specifically looking for ways to exercise your mind, organize your coursework, or expand your knowledge on King Matthias Corvinus’ role in the Hungarian Renaissance, there’s more than one app specifically designed to get the job done. Then again, no app is truly tailored for exploring the global repercussions of the Renaissance. I guess you’ll simply have to settle for our favorites below.

Dictionary.com (free)

Dictionary App

Dictionary.com’s app is exactly what its name implies. You can look up nearly any word in existence and whether you need a dictionary or thesaurus, you’ll find what you’re looking for. It even has a regional map of trending searches in your area. And who doesn’t like a elucidative word of the day?

Available from:

iTunes Google play Amazon

Lumosity (free)

Lumosity App

Designed by neuroscientists, Lumosity hones your memory and attention to detail through an eclectic variety of mind games. It’s meant to improve your core cognitive abilities, whether you’re matching tiles after briefly viewing them or swiping in the direction of a single bird within a flock.

Available from:

iTunes Google play

Evernote (free)

Evernote App Final

We’ve touted Evernote more than once. The free productivity app gives you the tools for taking photos, crafting notes, creating to-do lists, and recording voice reminders, all of which you can tag for additional organization. The app even syncs content across multiple devices.

Available from:

iTunes Google play

Wikipedia (free)

Wikipedia App Final

We all know Wikipedia. The site’s official app provides access to the encyclopedia’s catalog of more than 32 million disputable articles, each of which is offered in more than 280 languages. It has additional options for quickly sharing articles on social networks like Twitter or saving for offline use.

Available from:

iTunes Google play Amazon

Microsoft Store BlackBerry World

Coursera (free)

Coursera App Final

Lined with more than 200 free courses covering more than 20 subject areas (music, science, etc.), Coursera allows you to engage in a variety of courses from a slew of top-tier universities and institutions around the globe. Enroll in classes, stream and download lectures, and watch content on your own time.

Available from:

iTunes Google play

TED (free)

TED App Final

It’s rare that an organization truly makes you think. The TED app lets you peruse more the entire library of more than 1,700 TED Talks videos, introducing you to intriguing presentations and revolutionary ideas from education radicals, tech geniuses, business gurus, musical legends, and the like.

Available from:

iTunes Google play Amazon

Khan Academy (free)

Khan App Final

Education can be expensive. Fortunately, Khan academy provides more than 4,000, free downloadable videos, so you can brush up on everything from K-12 math and earth science to art history and computer science. You can also track your progress and unlock basic achievements.

Available from:

iTunes

StudyBlue (free)

SkyBlue App Final

Studying is the mainstay of an education. With StudyBlue, you can create and share a plethora of mobile flashcards, study guides, and quizzes, or choose from the an extensive collection of student-authored flashcards and flashcard decks. Afterward, accept the score you earn or try again to top it.

Available from:

iTunes Google play Amazon

Notability ($6)

Notability App Final

Simply put, the iCloud-abetted Notability lets you take notes in a variety of forms. With Notability, you can sketch ideas, annotate uploaded documents, sign contracts, and complete worksheets in addition to other actions. You can also format documents, using the app’s advance word processor.

Available from:

iTunes

iTunes U (free)

iTunes U App Final

Apple’s iTunes U showcases the world’s largest digital catalog of free education content. Instructors from leading universities such as Stanford and Yale teach the assorted courses and divvy out assignments, providing resounding material for you to take notes on and share with your friends and family.

Available from:

iTunes

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