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Microlearning with UnlockYourBrain

Mobile micro learning app UnlockYourBrain has launched an independent academic study to show users can double maths skill in 14 days

Posted by Hannah Oakman | September 19, 2014 | International

Mobile “microlearning” app UnlockYourBrain has announced an independent academic study showing that users can double maths aptitude in 14 days by using the app. The platform has also announced details of a new community-driven content marketplace allowing users to create, upload and share a world of personalised, custom-made learning materials.

Founded by two experienced entrepreneurs in Berlin in late 2013, UnlockYourBrain’s Android app has already been downloaded over 400,000 times and is used an average of two million times per day. Its patent-pending lock screen technology brings learning into everyday life by asking users to answer a question every time they unlock their smartphone screen.

Each question takes two to three seconds to answer – and the app’s algorithm learns from individual users’ answer patterns to ensure that questions are always matched to individual aptitudes. This means that the app is able to teach users just as effectively as other methods in significantly less time. Additionally, consistent delivery through the lock screen gives UnlockYourBrain at least twice the retention rates of similar education apps.

UnlockYourBrain’s effectiveness was analysed in an independent study conducted by The University of Potsdam. The study examined more than three million responses to maths questions and found that users’ performance – including accuracy and speed – doubled over a two-week period. It concluded that learning maths via “incidental problem solving” can be considered an effective alternative to “conventional mass studying environments”.

Simon Smend, cofounder of UnlockYourBrain, said: “In a time of information overload, processing abundant content has become a pain point for many people who want to learn, but don’t know where to begin. UnlockYourBrain breaks down information into bite-sized pieces. It makes learning and training an implicit part of people’s days – without requiring the motivation or organisation to reserve a time to study. This has resulted in faster learning speeds and proven retention rates.”

Initially offering vocabulary and mathematics questions, UnlockYourBrain’s newly launched content marketplace gives its users the tools to add and share any material they’re passionate about learning. To ensure learning content is always high quality, the UnlockYourBrain team monitors new content and employs a community-driven ranking and review process.

UnlockYourBrain took part in the Berlin programme of the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in 2014 and is backed by seed funding from Christophe Maire and other business angels. Future plans for UnlockYourBrain include introducing the product to new platforms, such as iOS and web, and developing new “microlearning” opportunities to make learning truly effortless.


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