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Kickstarter of the week: Brainworth

Everyone is different, so why should education be "one size fits all"? Australian start-up Brainworth is looking to revolutionise the way we learn.

Everyone is different, so why should education be "one size fits all"? Australian start-up Brainworth is looking to revolutionise the way we learn.

(Credit: Brainworth)

When it comes to learning, a classroom is definitely not the best environment for either understanding or retaining information; a one-on-one tailored approach is much more conducive to effective education. But that would be impossible to manage.

Back in June, Ben Sand, founder and CEO of Brainworth, told CNET Australia, "What we want to do is reach, and even surpass, the quality of one-on-one learning, without needing 7 billion new people to teach the 7 billion we have on the planet today."

The solution, Brainworth, is a modular learning platform that turns education into a game. According to Sand, video games operate on a system of feedback and rewards that keeps players gratified and interested in returning for more.

Some people criticise games for breeding an appetite for instant gratification, but we believe the best games do the opposite. There are games people invest years in precisely because they have payoffs that take years to reach. The only thing people demand instantly is feedback on their performance, and reassurance they're heading in the right direction. We think these are healthy demands, and should be encouraged. Students aren't motivated when education delays feedback (by weeks at a time on some occasions) and offers a curriculum that isn't personally relevant to them. This is not a failing of the student, but a weakness of the system itself. That, thanks to what we've learned from video games, can now be solved.

After receiving a NSW Government interactive media grant, Brainworth is seeking more funding in order to release its first course: learning how to make HTML5 games — by playing games.

Unlike many Kickstarters, though, Brainworth isn't asking you to take its claims entirely on faith; it has released three demos, with more to come as the campaign progresses, including learning behaviour trees, learning artificial neural networks and learning path-finding algorithms.

What we find particularly great about Brainworth is that you can choose what modules work for you; so if you already know something, you can tailor your course to suit your skill level. There's some pretty hefty backing behind it, too, with beta testers and content creators from universities around the globe: Caltech, Berkeley, Harvard, Stanford, UT Austin, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Sydney and the University of NSW.

Brainworth needs US$100,000 to get off the ground. Watch the video below to learn more, and head over to the Brainworth Kickstarter page to pledge your support.