What is it?
Knowm is a free digital framework that combines millennia of human evolution with cutting edge scientific research and proven learning techniques to make it possible for anyone, anywhere, to learn anything and never forget it.
The final application will allow a community of users to easily create, edit, and share formatted information (like flashcards), along with integrated mnemonic devices. Knowm will learn how each individual user learns best in order to help them find, learn, and review the best information in the best way and at the best time for their optimal understanding, retention, and recall.
Got a great idea for a feature? Let us know!
Before anything else, let us first say that what you want is exactly what we hope to build.
We think we have some great ideas based on our experiences and tons of research, but we know that you've had your own frustrations trying to learn a language, a school subject, or even the names of people in your network. The software currently on the market just doesn't cut it and we bet you have your own clever ways to make knowledge stick even better.
If you can dream it, we can (at least try to) build it!
So let us know how we might best serve your learning needs!
We love to hear about:
- The latest research
- Your successful and not-so-successful learning experiences
- Different approaches to learning different kinds of information
- Frustrations with other apps
- Tips and tricks for encoding, storing, and/or recalling information
- Any other ideas you might have
- What are you currently learning?
Now check out a cool virtual reality/360 degree video of me using a real-life memory palace to learn the noble gases from the periodic table of elements.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This video will look absolutely awful if you don't have a compatible/up-to-date browser or if your internet connection is bad.
It will not work correctly on a phone on the Prefundia page; you must open it in your updated YouTube app or compatible browser.
If you're on a computer, click and drag on the screen to follow me and look around. If you're on a mobile device, physically move the device to change your view or else swipe on the screen. Enjoy :)
This is just one random, little example intended to demonstrate how Knowm will keep up with the latest technology and research to always provide you with the best, most personalized learning experience possible.
*Help us build a virtual reality learning environment by sharing with friends so we can get funding all the way through our stretch goals*
We all know that rote memorization is absolutely not the way to get knowledge to stick. Loads of research, data, and real life human examples have clearly demonstrated learning methods that are orders of magnitude more rapid and effective. So why aren't more of us using these techniques?
-Creating a memory palace and conjuring up images to represent words and concepts seems difficult and unnecessary.
-Existing spaced repetition programs have big learning curves and troublesome user interfaces.
-You don't have the time or patience to parse through all the content you already know, to get to the information you actually want to learn. Courses and flashcard packages often have too much, or too little... Almost never exactly what you need.
-The few images and visual effects that are used within apps just don't connect with anything personally meaningful in your life.
-Even the best apps for learning on the market only use one or two of these powerful techniques, but not all of them combined (and they're often focused on just one type of information, like a language), so you're never really maximizing your learning and studying experience in an efficient way.
...or maybe just because you have never heard of any of this stuff.
I know I've personally used each of those excuses throughout my journey as a learner. I constantly bounce back and forth between different apps and even different courses, or flashcard decks within the same app, looking to learn exactly what I want to know, in the way that works best way for me. It's just too much.
So please, if any of what I'm saying resonates with you, help us address and eliminate your problems too by supporting this framework, which makes it fun and easy to learn, use, and benefit from mnemonics and spaced repetition for all of our learning needs.
How does it work?
If you're not satisfied with the anecdotal evidence provided in the videos and the overview or would simply like to learn more about the techniques used in Knowm, please enjoy the following resources explaining their how and why.
Support for these techniques [My short summary in brackets]:
- http://joshuafoer.com/moonwalking-with-einstein/ [Explains the "art and science of remembering everything" and how anyone can do it]
- http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/24/upshot/an-ancient-and-proven-way-to-improve-memory-go-ahead-and-try-it.html?_r=0 [Memory palaces, etc. enable anyone to radically improve their memory]
- http://www.wired.com/2008/04/ff-wozniak/ [Spaced repetition rocks]
- http://quantifiedself.com/2012/06/spaced-repetition-and-learning/ [Spaced repetition rocks + cool examples]
- http://welcome.fluent-forever.com/ [Learn a language best through 1. Pronunciation (audio), 2. Not translating (visuals), 3. Spaced repetition systems (e.g. Knowm), 4. Play. (Great summary here)]
- http://www.becomingasuperhuman.com/learning/ [Podcasts about optimizing human learning by SuperLearner Jonathan Levi]
- http://www.fluentin3months.com/memory-palace/ [Anthony Metivier explaining how to use a memory palace to learn foreign language vocabulary]
Knowm incorporates elements from all the sources mentioned above, including all those that best-selling author Gabriel Wyner says are the most effective way to learn a language.
For example, he suggests imagining masculine nouns catching on fire, and feminine ones melting as a simple way to remember the gender of words.
But why come up with your own scenes for every word if someone else already has?
This arbitrary example shows that a user could easily learn that "cat" in Spanish is the masculine ("el") "gato" because once you picture a cat bursting into flames on your very own couch and you trying to fan out the fire with pillows, it will be hard to forget.
The couch could automatically appear as your background for this card if you took that picture and assigned it to the letter "G" for instance, if you decided to organize your vocabulary with each letter having a unique location.
This location would obviously be different for each user if they desired to have their own locations set up, and perhaps someone else would prefer to replace the flames with a simple blue tint for all masculine cards and a pink tint for the feminine ones.
Or maybe the masculine objects appear on the couch and the feminine belong to a different location. All of these potential options and more would be available with a very simple, easy selection.
Even better, Knowm will adapt to your individual learning style and suggest the best format to optimize your experience.
Alpha (Simple Spaced Repetition Software):
- Smooth iPhone/iPad app, 2-sided flash card stores information (combination of audio, image, text)
- "Flash card" displays subset of info to user
- “Edit card” mode allows you to adjust everything - drag and drop (default the first time you see a new card)
- Ability to take a picture, record audio, type text
- Effects (movement, coloring) can be applied to individual components of cards, based on rules
- Stamps (image with 3D position) can be added to cards, based on rules
- Maintain collections of effects in folders
- Maintain collections of stamps in folders (allow ordering)
- Decks contain cards
- “Edit deck” mode allows you to set which info is viewable and set rules for which effects/stamps to use with which decks/cards
- Maintain collections of decks in folders
- Spaced repetition (SRS) - cards will ask a user’s confidence level on each card, and show it sooner or later based on the response
- Multiple choice responses
- User typed responses
- Multi-sided, Leitner box, and other SRS alternatives
- Log user info (sleep, mood, etc.)
- Share decks, stamps, and effects in marketplace
- Rate marketplace items
- Marketplace has categories
- Purchase in-app currency
- Exchange currency for items in marketplace
- Earn currency for:
- Downloads of your items in marketplace
- Using the app over time Learning full decks
- Tracking habits (sleep, mood, etc.)
- Inviting friends
Launch (Machine Learning)
- Integrate with Facebook and LinkedIn to learn names, faces, and birthdays
- Build systems for encoding data (eg. Major Method, Peg System)
- Ability to shuffle/reorder cards (eg. to learn to memorize playing cards)
- Other mobile platforms (Android)
- Desktop version for creating decks, importing other files
- View progress/stats in dashboard, compare with other users
- App learns habits for individuals, adjusts their regimen
- App instructs general conclusions from the masses
- “Pull requests” - ability to correct/improve/offer alternative card in a deck and push it to the creator to approve for use in the official deck
- Rate and track individual cards
- Present users with alternative card options, fitting for their learning style
- Your suggestions here
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What subjects can I learn from Knowm?
A. At least anything testable in a question (or clue) and short answer format that you might see in school. For instance, Knowm could teach you how to read sheet music and differentiate notes, but don't expect to be able to play guitar without actually picking one up.
Other common examples besides music include languages, sciences, law, and math.
You can even study things that you wouldn't learn in school, like names, faces, birthdays, professional positions, and other important information about friends or business contacts. With Knowm you're really only limited by your own creativity.
Q. On which platform(s) will Knowm be available?
A. It will start as an iOS app designed for iPhones and will eventually expand to other platforms depending on the funding level reached and your requests.