50 Mac Apps That Will Teach You Something

With the recent release of iBooks Author from Apple, I started to think more about using Apple products as learning tools. The iBooks Author announcement and accompanying video certainly generate some excitement at the possibilities using the iPad in classrooms and that is great, but I became curious as to what type of applications were currently available in the Mac App Store.

I began exploring and trolling for educational applications. We’ve done roundups on educational tools, such as note taking aids and other utilities of that nature, so I wanted to focus more on applications that directly help you to learn something. This wasn’t an easy task as they proved to be quite difficult to find. Here’s a list of fifty to get you started.

I decided to restrict my search for educational applications to the Mac App Store. I searched for just about everything I could think of and naturally the applications I discovered fell into some fairly clear defined categories. If you’re searching for something in a category that I don’t have listed that means I had trouble finding anything that fit into that category.

This is definitely not a definitive list, but it is a pretty good cross-section of this space. There are a mix of paid and free applications, but a large majority of the apps that I found are paid and some are rather expensive in fact. Some are very well and thoughtfully designed and some could arguably use a little work on that side of things. There’s a very wide variety of applications in this list and I hope it encourages you to explore the App Store even more and learn some things using your Mac.

Art

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Art Authority for Mac

This application enables you to explore the art from over 1000 artists from many different places and times. In-depth artist information is also included.

Price: $9.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5.0 or later
Developer: Art Authority

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Fine Art – Realists

Includes work from twelve Realist artists. Easily explore their work and learn about about this artistic period. Not the most beautiful application, but it makes art exploration in this period easy.

Price: $1.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later, 64-bit processor
Developer: Robert Schoenburg

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Fine Art – Romantics

Another application similar to the application above. It’s a simple app that enables you to explore art from the Romantic period. This developer does also offer apps covering other periods as well.

Price: $1.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later, 64-bit processor
Developer: Robert Schoenburg

Astronomy

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Solar Walk for Mac

Explore our galaxy and everything that’s a part of it. From planets to satelittes. Explore planets in depth with important landmarks noted.

Price: $2.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Vito Technology

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SkySafari Plus

An application that enables you to explore the skies using images from NASA. Also has the capability to connect to and control telescopes.

Price: $19.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Southern Stars

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Cosmographia

This application calls itself a Solar System simulator. You’re able to fly alongside satellites and explore astroids and planets and just about everything else in our solar system.

Price: $4.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later, 64-bit processor
Developer: Chris Laurel

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Saturn

Here’s an astronomy application that focuses specifically on Saturn. You’ll explore the planet through all sorts of images and other graphics in a pretty cool, space-worthy package.

Price: $2.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: David Barnhardt

Biology

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Skeletal System Pro III

This application enables you to explore the skeletal system in truly amazing fashion. Interactively navigate, adjust, annotate around the entire human skeletal system.

Price: $19.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later, 64-bit processor
Developer: 3D4Medical.com, LLC

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Visible Body 3D Human Anatomy Atlas

This one is pretty spendy, but it does provide a wealth of information about all of the systems of the human body. Explore models of each system along with accompanying information.

Price: $59.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Visible Body

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OnScreen DNA Model

I remember my freshman Biology class in college and specifically discussing DNA. I can’t help but think being able to study a 3D model would have really helped my understanding. That was my last Biology course.

Price: $3.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: OnScreen Science, Inc.

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Perfect Tooth

This one is a little specific in that it explores the tooth. It is an expensive application so maybe it’s only for dentists, but those curious about the human mouth and teeth may find it useful as well.

Price: $59.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: eHuman, Inc.

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Frog Dissection

Replace that time honored middle school biology tradition with it’s virtual counterpart. It would also be great for home school kids to help get them an experience they wouldn’t otherwise get.

Price: $4.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5 or later
Developer: Emantras Inc

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3D Nervous System

Learn about the human nervous system by exploring a 3D model of its intricacies. This developer has other $0.99 apps to study various other systems as well.

Price: $0.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: USaMau03

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Grays Anatomy Premium Edition

Study the iconic human anatomy book Grays Anatomy in digital format. Take notes, zoom in on pictures, search and take advantage of other features not possible in the original format.

Price: $6.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.7 or later, 64-bit processor
Developer: Archibald Industries

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Sharks Encyclopedia

How about some wild life biology to round off this section? Study sharks with this Sharks Encyclopedia Mac application.

Price: $4.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5 or later
Developer: Scott W. Hotaling

Chemistry and Physics

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iElements Periodic Table

Very nicely designed interactive periodic table of elements application. Explore the table and even view photos of the actual elements.

Price: $1.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Mobile Science Apps

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Atomic Dashboard

Another application to explore the periodic table. This one goes a little more in depth and offers microscopic and molecular level views of the elements.

Price: $14.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Bitwixt Software Systems LLC

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iMass

A simple and cheap application that is able to calculate the molar mass of any compound or element give its chemical formula.

Price: $0.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Mobile Science Apps

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Molecules

View 3D models of more than 250 pre-installed molecules. This app also has the capability to view molecules built and store in common 3D molecule building format.

Price: $4.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5 or later
Developer: Mobile Science Apps

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FlatMol

This application is an aid in drawing molecular models. There is no 3D modeling with this one. It more closely mimics pen and paper results.

Price: $4.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4.0 or later
Developer: Judy A Long

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Physics 101 SE

Physics 101 SE helps you solve over 150 common physics equations. To add to the mix are also simulators to help you better analyze your results.

Price: $4.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4.4 or later
Developer: Praeter Software

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Algodoo Physics

This application makes testing your inventions and running some simulations fun. You can even check out other “scenes” for inspiration.

Price: $18.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Algoryx Simulation AB

Geography

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Earth 3D

Explore our planet from space. Check out 65 sites as well as 467 geographical names in a beautiful 3D-like view.

Price: $1.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: 3Planesoft

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Stack the Countries

Learn world geography in a fun and engaging format. I think we can all brush up on our world geography from time to time and why not have a little fun while we’re doing it.

Price: $1.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5 or later
Developer: Dan Russell-Pinson

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World Explorer PREMIUM

Explore the world through photos and articles of over 600,000 points of interest. Multiple languages are also supported so you can explore in your native language.

Price: $4.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later, 64-bit processor
Developer: AudioGuidia

History

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Chronica Pro

This is an application that allows you to study history and does so through timelines. Search and compare the timelines of many famous figures through world history.

Price: $38.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4 or later, 64-bit processor
Developer: Maxicode

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American Revolutionary War Images

This application gives you a little different way to explore an historical event. Explore the Revolutionary War through images, illustrations, and other graphics. There are also apps focused on other events from the same developer.

Price: $1.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later, 64-bit processor
Developer: Trevor D’Arcy-Evans

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Vatican Museums

Walk through the tunnels of the Vatican yourself and explore more than 200 of its pieces. Descriptions are also included with the images.

Price: $3.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: bLab SA

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Dinosaur Encyclopedia

Explore the lives of the those amazing, prehistoric creatues, dinsaurs. Browse text and images along your way to discovery.

Price: $4.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5 or later
Developer: Scott W. Hotaling

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Declaration for Mac

Learn about one of the most important documents in United States history. Not only will you learn about the doucment itself, but also the people that were involved with it.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Clint Bagwell Consulting

Languages

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Human Japanese

Learn the Japanese language from square one. This application uses text, spoken word, images and animations along with quizes to teach you the language.

Price: $18.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Brak Software

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Learn French – Complete Audio Course (Beginner to Advanced)

Take an audio French language in the comfort of your home. This app enables you to learn from multiple voices through a series of exercises and claims to be a language lab for a Mac.

Price: $49.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Innovative Language Learning, LLC

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Learn Spanish Now

Learn the Spanish language through the method of flash cards. You can skip quickly through the stuff you already know and the developer promises to continually improve the application so could be the perfect base for learning Spanish.

Price: $9.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Live Doodles

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German in a Month

Children are able to pick up new languages much quicker than adults. This application wants to teach you to learn German like a child would an claims to be able to do this in a month.

Price: $3.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Elky Entertainment, LLC

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ASL Basic

Learn the basics of the American Sign Language through this simple visual application. Practice through quizzes to track your progress.

Price: $0.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Brazzai Software Inc

Literature

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Shakespeare In Bits: Romeo and Juliet

I wasn’t able to find a lot of applications in this area in the App Store, but I did find a few for learning Shakespeare. This one focuses on the classic romance, Romeo and Juliet.

Price: $19.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Mindconnex Learning Ltd.

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Shakespeare In Bits: Macbeth

Here’s another by the same developer. This time we’re exploring Macbeth. Shakespeare isn’t the most easy to understand so applications like this can be very beneficial to the literature student.

Price: $19.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Mindconnex Learning Ltd.

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Shakespeare In Bits: Hamlet

And a third application by this developer also explore more Shakespeare. These applications will take you through line by line translation. I really wish there was something like this around when I was attempting to learn Shakespeare in high school.

Price: $19.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Mindconnex Learning Ltd.

Mathematics

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Mathemagics

Math is a tricky subject area for a lot of people. This application helps to learn some mental math strategies and tricks and practice them in a fun enviroment.

Price: $2.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Blue Lightning Labs

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MathBoard

This is an application that helps you to practice math. It probably has more of an appeal to a younger crowd, but let’s be honest, most of us could use some practice ourselves.

Price: $4.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: palaware

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Conic Sections

Explore a specific mathematical concept with this application. Dive into the world of conics by adjusting equations and seeing the visual representation.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Pacific Tech

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2D Grapher

Graph functions, relations, and inequalities in rectangular and polar coordinates. And as a bonus, you can create math movies. Yeah, that’s right.

Price: $4.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Pacific Tech

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Mathlete

Practice your addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The application allows for multiple skill levels by giving you varying problems at four difficulty levels.

Price: $2.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later, 64-bit processor
Developer: Clever Coding LLC

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Statistics Tutor

This is an application to help you learn basic statistics. There are a variety of completed problems to examine and even some videos.

Price: $14.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Bluewater Publishing

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TrigAid

Work with trig laws, vectors, logarithms and all sorts of other trigonometry components. This really is an excellent study partner.

Price: $1.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4.0 or later
Developer: Praeter Software

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DragNMath

Build and create your own mathematical functions in drag and drop style. This application is very simple to use and packaged in a nice clean interface.

Price: $2.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Christophe Lestrade

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Fractions/Decimals Calculator

As you may have guessed from the name this app deals with a small portion of math that a lot of people stuggle with. Not only does it make the conversions for you it provides the information as to how and why the conversion ended up like it did.

Price: $0.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Essence Computing

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AroniStat

AroniStat is a statistical reference tool for beginners through advanced statisticians. It provides a quick reference point for common statistical components as well as their relationships with one another.

Price: $9.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later, 64-bit processor
Developer: AroniSoft LLC

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Statistics Pro

This application is able to make most basic statistics calculations for you and that is certainly helpful. It goes one step further and actually shows you why the solution is correct helping you to actually understand the calculation.

Price: $4.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4.0 or later
Developer: Praeter Software

What Have You Learned Lately?

There you have it! These fifty apps should enable you to learn a new language, brush up on your history, master those pesky math problems and even explore the galaxy all right from the comfort of your desk.

Leave a comment below and let us know if you’ve tried any of the apps above. Also be sure to tell us about other Mac apps that have taught you something recently.


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