These brain training mobile apps promote lifelong learning

Learning beyond the classroom should be a no-brainer for capable students. While many educational apps inherently improve cognitive reasoning and memory retention, there are a handful of services that make these goals the cornerstone of the experience. Here are five mobile apps that can help students get into peak mental shape. If this were an 80s sports movie, this is where we’d cue the training montage…

Elevate – Brain Training (iOS Android, Free, Ages 8-18)

Elevate – Brain Training currently sits near the top of educational apps on the App Store. The app starts users with three limited, free training exercises per day. Elevate tracks performance efficiency and highlights your best numeric score with an angular diagram of the human brain. All brain games fall under five main subjects: Listening, Math, Reading, Speaking, and Writing. Examples of exercises include Brevity, which tests your ability to remove redundant words and phrases from sentences, and Processing, which improves reading speed. Elevate’s sleek design and exercises definitely lock it in as the number one ‘brain training’ app on the market today. In order to unlock advanced exercises and display comparisons to other Elevate users, parents need to upgrade to the Pro version, which costs $4.99 per month or $44.99 per year.

Fit Brains for Kids: Sparky’s Adventures (iOS, Free, Ages 2-8)

Most brain training applications are targeted to lifelong learners. Enter Fit Brains for Kids: Sparky’s Adventures, developed by Dr. Paul Nussbaum, the answer to giving preschoolers a chance to participate in similar mental workouts. Exercises are led by Sparky, a cartoon firefly that cheers on your youngster as they tackle matching, sorting, hidden objects, shape sizes, and more. The app features games that adapt to each child’s demonstrated skill level and test in the five major brain areas: Memory, Visual Recognition, Concentration, Speed, and Problem Solving. A full upgrade is needed to continue after the first eight games, pricing at $24.99 for a lifetime subscription, $9.99 per year and for the $0.83 per month for skeptical or frugal parents.

Lumosity Mobile (iOS Android, Free, Ages 8-18)

Lumosity is probably more of a household name than the other apps on this list, as the service launched in 2007. Since then the web-based service became one of the pioneers in brain training based on research and neuroscience. This solid foundation makes Lumosity Mobile the most accessible from this genre of educational apps. One of the best free exercises is Brain Shift, which aims to test your flexibility in adjusting to changes on the fly. Like all of these brain trainers, students and parents can set up daily reminders for completing exercises. The core mobile app is free, but a full subscription costs $59.99 per year and $11.99 for a single month. This grants access to 40 additional games on Lumosity Mobile and their website, as well as stat comparisons to other users and performance tracking metrics.

Clockwork Brain Premium – Challenge Your Mind with Fun Puzzles! (iOS, $2.99, Ages 8-18)

Originally released in spring 2012, Clockwork Brain has true staying power. Students play four games in a row, including Missing Tiles, Chase the Numbers, Anagrams, and Scrolling Silhouettes. Clockwork Brain throws out a few visual curveballs and game speed increases as users answer correctly, but the pace is never frustratingly frantic. Performance is rated by the number of stars earned in each game and students earn Sprocket Tokens, an in-game currency that unlocks item packs and bonus mini-games. We think you should skip the free version and go right for premium, as Clockwork Brain Premium offers unlimited hours of challenging gameplay.

BrainWars: Competitive brain trianing game (iOS Android, Free, Ages 14-18)

BrainWars from Translimit Inc. offers highly competitive online gameplay, which might be frustrating for some students. For the resilient, four-round head-to-head competitions show how you match up against others players. With randomized games like Color of Deception, Addition Addiction, and Follow the Leader, there are countless ways to improve brain strength. The randomness of game challenges keep BrainWars fresh and exacting. Students can share scores on Facebook, Twitter, and Line, and check D-League, World, and Friend rankings. We recommend that students practice the games in the Training section, located in the Menu.

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