You can play finger-flicking games on an iPad, you can watch movies and listen to music. In fact, you can consume until your pleasure-struck brain spongifies into blissful submission.

Or you can learn something instead.

Khan Academy




The Khan in question in Khan Academy is an American chap named Salman Khan who founded a free online education website for people everywhere. It’s largely based around videos which Khan initially uploaded to YouTube while trying to teach his cousin, Nadia, maths from the other side of the country. The videos became so popular that he quickly left his job as a hedge fund analyst and began working on the site full time.

Now, you can be a student of the Khan Academy on your iPad with access to more than 3,000 video lessons that you can either stream from the site or download and watch any time you don’t have a connection. You won’t find every subject represented just yet. Given Khan’s previous job, it’s of little surprise that there’s a heavy bias toward the sciences - including a particularly good maths section - but the humanities category seems to be growing and the finance and economy one is an extensive eye-opener.

Khan’s teaching style and personality aren’t going to be to everybody’s taste but the lessons are undeniably good. They run from the absolute basics, such as simple addition, all the way up to heavy calculus and beyond, and the whole app is really as interesting for those just looking to broaden their horizons as it is for students seeking an alternative way of understanding something that’s been troubling them in class.

Definitely worth a download, whether you use it just once or every day of the week.

Best iPad apps for learning and reference

Best new iPad apps to show off the Retina Display