App

It’s 2023, and as always, a new year tends to bring a fresh determination to better yourself. If you’re not planning to shed some of that Christmas baggage, perhaps you’re intending a more cerebral form of self-betterment.

There’s a whole market out there for so-called e-learning apps, which use your phone as the conduit for educational advancement. Here are five of out favorites to help enlighten the cold, dark early months of 2023. Give one or more of these a try. You might just learn something.

Udemy (Courses from $9.99/£10.99)

Udemy offers downloadable online video courses covering a broad range of subjects, including coding, development, business, marketing, design, and photography among many others. These courses are taught by real-word experts in their field, whom you can quiz in order to get a more personalised overview of your subject.

Khan Academy (Free)

Khan Academy’s USP is that its courses are completely free. You can choose to take courses in a whole range of subjects under the familiar umbrellas of economics, science, computing and the like, with a particular focus on the US school and college curriculum. There are tests, interactive exercises, videos and more to partake in, and none of them will cost you a penny.

Skillshare ($31.99/£12.99 per month)

Skillshare’s online education focus is tilted towards the creative side of the equation, with thousands of courses on topics such as drawing, calligraphy, and graphic design. It even touches upon creative tools like Procreate, Illustrator, and Photoshop. As befits this creative angle, students can share their work with others in a public forum, where feedback is encouraged.

MasterClass ($179.99/£169.99 per year)

MasterClass has a notable edge over other online video lecture apps in that it features celebrity instructors like Aaron Sorkin, Annie Leibovitz, Jodie Foster, and Tony Hawk. Naturally, this approach tells you that you won’t become a physics whizz through MasterClass, but when it comes to pointers on the creative arts, you’ll be learning from the best. There’s only the one annual subscription model, but it makes a great gift – and they sometimes offer buy-one-get-one-free deals.

Kahoot! (from free)

Kahoot takes an altogether more playful approach to e-learning, via a hefty dose of gamification. Rather than dry lectures that make you feel like you’re back at school, it instead throws you fun quiz-like games set by major institutions like Nasa, National Geographic, and the World Health Organization. You can also set up your own ‘Kahoots’ for students, colleagues, or family members, with each participating iPhone acting as a controller.