Introducing Lernabit Premium, And A Sweet New Feature

The mission of Lernabit is to make education better and more accessible by leveraging technology. I strongly believe that the best way to achieve that goal is by providing educational content in audio format.

Up until now, Lernabit has been focused on the accessibility angle, and I have done this by distributing free educational mini-lectures. Audio content is accessible while doing other things at the same time, making education accessible from the perspective of time. Meanwhile, making them freely available has made it possible for anyone to access educational content regardless of income.

Today, I am excited to announce a new feature that takes the first step toward making education more effective. The new feature is called “Remembered Bits”, and it will change the way you study and retain information.

When browsing Bits, you will now notice a new button that says “Remember”. When you click that, the Bit will be added to your list of Remembered Bits, and that is where the cool part happens.

The “Remembered Bits” feature is not just a “Like” or “Favorite” button like on many other sites. Instead, the Remembered Bits feature will actually help you remember the information in that Bit using a spaced repetition algorithm.

According to research, memory retention is improved when you study at gradually increasing intervals rather than repeatedly cramming the information at regular intervals. It is believed that that this technique is beneficial because rather than repeatedly reviewing the information at a superficial level, it provides more time for the brain to process the information at a deeper, conceptual level.

This study technique is known as “spaced repetition”, and the Remembered Bits feature on Lernabit utilizes such an algorithm. When a Bit is “Remembered”, it will be issued a review date. When that date is reached, you will receive an email letting you know that it is time to review it. Then, it will calculate a slightly longer interval, set a new due date, and notify you again when the new due date is reached. At first, the interval will be very short (initially 1 day), but will gradually increase to weeks, months, or even years.

Note that the due date is only updated if the current due date is in the past. In other words, if you listen to a Remembered Bit that isn’t currently due for a review, the current due date will remain unchanged. This is by design so that the due date is not pushed further into the future every time you listen to it. Otherwise, listening to a Bit multiple times in the same day– such as when studying for a test– would quickly push the due date months or years into the future. In short, this feature is designed to improve long term retention but also to get out of the way if you do need to cram.

This leads to the next announcement I have today. I’m introducing a new Premium version of Lernabit. The Premium version is a paid plan that offers additional features. The Remembered Bits feature is the first feature exclusive to the Premium plan. In addition, Premium members don’t see any ads on the site.

The ever-increasing usage of ad-blockers and decreasing effectiveness of advertising has made it very difficult to build a great product without an additional source of monetization. The addition of a Premium plan is part of my goal to turn Lernabit into a sustainable tool that will be around for many years. The price of the Premium plan is currently set at $8 per month, which is comparable to the monthly cost of Netflix or Spotify Premium, and hopefully more useful. Also, don’t forget that the Free version is still there and always will be.

In the future, there will be a number of other awesome features to keep furthering my mission to make education better.

Lernabit Is Now In Beta!

Today is an exciting update for Lernabit as I’ve removed the “Alpha” tag and officially moved into “Beta” phase.

For those who might be unfamiliar with what those terms mean, they simply refer to stages of software development. “Alpha” phase is a very early stage of testing done primarily by the software developers. “Beta” phase is a more public phase in which others are invited to use the software too, while the “Beta” tag indicates that there may still be a few rough patches.

Moving out of Alpha and into Beta is an exciting development for Lernabit. As mentioned, Beta testing means that there will still be a few quirks and bugs, but things are working mostly as expected. Coming up over the next week, I have some more exciting announcements regarding our mission to make education more accessible. Keep an eye on the blog, and follow Lernabit on Twitter to find out what we are up to.

New Update: Bit Tagging For Better Browsing

A new update has been made to Lernabit with many improvements. The most significant change is the addition of a new tagging feature.

As Lernabit continues to grow, one of the immediate problems that has come to light is the difficulty of browsing Bits. In fact, the lack of structure is one of the primary reasons that the Bits have all focused on a very small handful of topics. Focusing on a small selection of topics has made it easier to browse around and find interesting Bits, because if you like one Bit, you will probably like any of the other ones you happen to stumble across. And while there has been a search feature for a long time now, that is only really effective if you already know what you are looking for. When you just want to browse and discover new Bits, the search feature is far less useful. With the latest update to the site, that is no longer a problem. The new tagging feature adds a new degree of organization to the Bits on Lernabit, paving the way to begin covering other topics.

In addition to tagging, I’ll be building out some other new features to further improve navigation and create a better listening experience.

What Is Lernabit?

What Is Lernabit?

This is the first blog post for Lernabit, so I want to take this opportunity to thank you for checking it out and also to introduce myself and the goals of this site.

My name is Aaron Wright, and this site is an attempt to address a problem I have had with education. The problem, simply stated, is that education is not accessible.

At first glance, many people will dispute this claim. After all, the Internet and smartphones have made information more accessible than ever. But that only applies to accessibility in terms of physical access. As far as time is concerned, accessibility is still a major problem.

The Internet already has plenty of educational material, but what the world needs is content in a format that can teach you wherever you are as time permits. That is precisely what Lernabit is all about. By delivering educational content in small chunks in audio format, you can learn and discover new topics in the small moments of downtime throughout your day.

There are a lot of long format video lectures online, but not everyone can sit down and watch a 45 minute lecture. However, most people can listen to short 5-10 minute lectures on their way to work, or even at work. Eventually it will all add up to the same amount of content, but by chopping it up into small chunks, it can work with your schedule.

This format allows any small moment throughout the day to become a chance to learn new things. You won’t have to choose between education and working, because it will work around that schedule. You won’t have to sacrifice fitness for educational content, because you can listen to it at the gym. You can listen on your commute, or while shopping, or while doing things like cooking, cleaning, or other boring tasks.

Consider how much time you have every day that you don’t think about:

  • Getting ready in the morning: 1 hour
  • Driving to work: 30 minutes on average
  • Lunch time: 30+ minutes depending on your job
  • Driving home from work: 30 minutes
  • Cooking dinner: 30 minutes
  • Doing the dishes: 15 minutes
  • Doing laundry: 15 minutes
  • Getting ready for bed: 30 minutes

That is already a solid 4 hours of downtime every day, and that doesn’t include time at the gym or even time away from Netflix. If you include that time as well, your free time available for educational material would be comparable with the amount of time a full-time college student spends between lectures and studying.

My goal with Lernabit is to turn that time into moments of mental stimulation and education.

You can follow the project and keep up to date by joining the free newsletter. Just use the signup box below to get on the list.