Listenable: Learn via Audio

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Listenable: Learn via Audio App Poster Image
Self-improvement mini-lessons are sometimes solid.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Teens can learn about a variety of topics such as history, social sciences, career development, and self-improvement.

Ease of Play

Browse through available courses and tap to start listening.

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Free download, but content is available through subscription only.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Listenable: Learn via Audio is a collection of bite-sized audio lessons on a variety of topics. Lessons aren't made specifically for kids, though some teens could conceivably be interested in some of the topics. Courses are divided into roughly 10 lessons lasting about five minutes each, with the idea being that users will listen to one lesson per day. Anyone can design and record a lesson to send to the developer. If the developer approves, that lesson shows up on the app. Listenable: Learn via Audio's content is accessible through a subscription only. When users sign up for a subscription, they need to provide and confirm an email address. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

Sign up with an email address and create a password for your LISTENABLE: LEARN VIA AUDIO account, and then agree to the subscription terms. Once in, browse various course categories such as personal development, health & fitness, or general knowledge. Choose a course, read the description and the lesson tittles and tap listen to start. Listen to each lesson separately, or continue listening as lessons auto play one after another. Mark your favorite courses and review the courses you've completed.

Is it any good?

These crowd-sourced mini lessons include some interesting topics as well as a good number of flops. Although five-minute lessons can't get too in depth, hearing little tidbits about stimulating topics can be a fun way introduce teens to new ideas. It can also be satisfying to set aside just a small part of the day to listen to something new and interesting. The topics covered in Listenable: Learn via Audio are heavily biased toward self-improvement type topics (e.g., time management, more effective reading, enhancing creativity) and are probably more likely to appeal to adults, though some teens may find something they want to learn about. Unfortunately, however, because the lessons are designed, written, and recorded by anyone who wants to, it's really difficult to guarantee a standard level of quality, utility, or accuracy. Though the developers do have some standards for audio quality and lesson format, there doesn't seem to be any review of the lesson content. Some lessons may be great; others not so much. It would also be nice to see lessons in text for those who prefer to read, but the text-based lessons are available only through a different platform at a separate subscription price. Given the high subscription price, families should definitely take full advantage of the seven-day free trial before deciding whether Listenable: Learn via Audio is right for them.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Listenable: Learn via Audio's format. Is it helpful to listen to mini-lessons over a short period of time? How do you learn best?

  • Listen to a course together and discuss what you learn. Use the lessons as a springboard to find out more about the topic.  

  • Talk about favorite topics and how to teach them. If you were going to design a course, what would you like to teach others about? How would you approach it?

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For kids who love listening and learning

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