Medical students at Oxford University and business students at the London School of Economics (LSE) are apparently using a new education app called Synap to prepare for what are notoriously difficult exams.
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Synap is a free mobile and web app that allows students and professionals to prepare for exams by taking quizzes that are developed by other members of the Synap community.
The free app launched approximately 18 months ago and has already been used by 50,000 people. There are currently 30,000 quizzes and 250,000 questions on the platform.
Synap cofounder and CEO James Gupta told Business Insider that students prefer to digest information through in app-quizzes on their phones over traditional methods like a textbook or university lectures.
“Over the last couple of decades, more and more research has been conducted into how we learn, how the brain retains knowledge, and the best ways to enhance it,” said Gupta, a Leeds University medicine graduate.
“Studies clearly show that people retain information and improve their memory more effectively when using shorter ‘training’ sessions of 5-10 minutes at a time. By combining this research with the power of AI, our vision is to revolutionise the traditional education system, and deliver the Holy Grail of education: personalised, adaptive learning for all. We could see lectures become extinct in years to come.”
Gupta claims that students across the country are using Synap, including medicine students at Oxford University and business students at LSE.
He also said professionals such as accountants and pilots are testing themselves over the Synap platform to help them prepare for their professional exams.
In a statement, Professor Neil Morris, director of digital learning and chair in educational technology, innovation and change, at the University of Leeds, said: “Research in cognitive neuroscience and educational psychology is showing us that effective learning requires active participation, collaboration with peers and effective testing.
“Online learning systems are beginning to realise these requirements, and advances in technology are supporting more adaptive and personalised systems. Synap uses these approaches effectively, and places students at the centre of their learning in an engaging and collaborative way.”
Synap, which currently has no revenues, has just closed a £200,000 crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube. It plans to raise a Series A round later on this year and it’s contemplating launching a paid-for premium service at some point.
Gupta said he is already in discussions with a number of venture capital investors but he didn’t want to disclose them just yet.
The edtech (education technology) market is currently worth £45 billion, according to a report from London & Partners, the London mayor’s promotional agency. The same report predicts the edtech market will grow to £129 billion by 2020. Other fast-growing education startups like Duolingo and Gojimo, founded by Stanford dropout George Burgess, are looking to excel in this booming market.
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