If you want to increase your knowledge and hone your cognitive skills, computers, smartphones and tablets can all provide you with a wide range of fun and challenging resources. Here are six of the very best ways to use technology to boost your brain power.
1) Learn a new language
Whether you choose to use language software or sign up for an online language tutorial, your computer can provide fun and engaging methods to learn how to speak a new language. You can choose to learn handy phrases and words for traveling, or you can opt to really test your brain by trying to become fluent.
With the help of language learning software and websites, you can practice your spelling, use a microphone to test your speaking skills, and sit quizzes that measure the extent to which your vocabulary is improving as the weeks pass.
2) Practice taking online IQ tests
Although IQ tests are now a contentious method of measuring intelligence, there is no doubt that they pose difficult questions that can help to improve a number of your basic mental skills. For example, taking a range of these tests will boost your linguistic abilities, enhance your ability to manipulate concepts, sharpen your short-term memory and increase your visual processing speed.
3) Play competitive word games online
Playing online word games can be one of the most entertaining and effective ways to use to technology to challenge your mind. Playing Scrabble with friends or strangers is a social activity that dramatically improves your vocabulary, while timed word games like Boggle will boost your reaction speed (as well as your typing skills).
4) Use your smartphone to train your brain while you wait
The next time you are stuck waiting to see the doctor or meet a friend, make sure you have some brain training apps on your smartphone (or tablet). For example, the Brain Bomb app features 180 different exercises that focus on improving your memory, your judgment and the speed of your reactions. Meanwhile, Lumosity Brain Trainer allows you to play addictive games that boost your problem solving abilities and help to increase your attention span.
5) Explore the resources that can improve your general knowledge
Thanks to sites like Wikipedia and HowStuffWorks, the internet provides you with invaluable ways to expand your general knowledge. You can find out everything you want to know about almost any subject that interests you, ranging from prominent historical figures to the intricacies of complex scientific theories.
6) Take an online class
Finally, it is worth noting that an increasing number of colleges and universities are offering free online courses. Some of these video lectures are simply designed to provide reliable, engaging information for people who want to challenge their minds by learning about new subjects, while other courses also allow you to earn some sort of qualification at the end. For example, the University of Edinburgh offers courses on the basics of philosophy, astrobiology, and artificial intelligence.