Are there websites that will make you smarter? Of course, in the broader sense, I believe that there are.
These websites can make you think differently from the default. Or they can teach you about life and even how to learn. These cognitive flexers are bound to, at the very least, prove immensely helpful.
Let me break it to you, there is no real pill that makes you smarter, like in Limitless -the movie. (Wait, let me just fact-check that – Nevermind, scrap that.) Nevertheless, you will have to work diligently at your own abilities if you want to see them improve. And the brain is like many other muscles in that it can become lazy if left to itself.
So after some research, I ‘took one for the team’ and tried a few of the websites I could find (others are already part of my routine) that I believe actually make you smarter and compiled them into the first instalment of this series. Here follow my findings in no specific order:
1. Free Rice
This is an initiative that has the potential to not only make you smarter but allows you to get on board and help people from the comfort of your couch. I promise there is no human interaction, although we can all gain from having a little. The idea is that you answer multiple-choice questions to keep the brain engine running and this not-for-profit website will donate 10 grains of rice for every correct answer you give. There’s something for everyone, with categories and even regularly updated challenges. The initiative is run by the United Nations World Food Programme and will be very useful for all ages.
As Albert Einstein once said, “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”
This is one brain trainer I know and love and is a surefire way to get your cerebral cortex fired up. This website may look childlike and sweet, but it gets tricky. This website enhances your cognitive abilities by gamification. This is great because it engages you with a fun and lively interface, and it incentivises its challenges. Each day has a new sequence of random exercises to keep you on your toes. Lumosity is guaranteed to make you smarter and, what’s more, reports back your own progress in a fun way that is easy to understand. Yay, us!
This site is another in the field of gamification when it comes to online learning, but this website has a smorgasbord of languages added to its resumé. It has a long list of languages to choose from. This nifty website makes you smarter by teaching you a language through reading (and funny stories), writing (-cough- typing), and even speaking. The interface is so creative, and they even have a few easter eggs built-in. (Try tapping Duo, the owl mascot who cheers you on, a bunch of times and see what happens. Don’t ask me how I know this, I have a toddler.)
If literature is your thing, then look no further. This is a collection of world literature available for download. After taking a look, I am absolutely taken with this site. #Bibliophile! Of course, all the titles available on this site are safe when it comes to copyrights, as they are all distributed as public domain, so don’t expect your favourite Wilbur Smith or other licensed books to adorn their virtual shelves. But do yourself a favour and check out what may be available in your field (or desired field) of expertise. You might find that you get more proficient in some areas.
This website allows you to either learn skills or to showcase what you already know. It is for both students and teachers. I’m not going to lie; I found the puzzles to be basically virtually impossible. But there are amazing things to be learned. For instance, how to power breathe – yeah, what a rich life I lead.
There are many ways to spend your time, why not spend it on something you get to keep? Don’t get me wrong, I like scrolling on Instagram and Facebook as much as the next person, but I know that it won’t amount to me actually being able to take over the worl- I mean to reach my goals. Perhaps you could commit to only 10 minutes per day. About the time you wait for your kettle to boil, or waiting for a game to load. (Skyrim, I’m looking at you)
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin.
Please leave a comment: I would love to find out what you would want to improve on in your skillset. Who knows, I might even check it out and include it in a soon to follow Part 2.