May 16, 2012

Memrise – A Fun Take On Online Learning

What do you want to learn about today? If it’s physics, history, language, or virtually any other topic under the sun, then Memrise has got you covered. The online learning platform uses mnemonic devices – which it calls “mems” – as a way to help people memorize foreign languages and other advanced concepts.

When you’re ready to hit the books, log on to Memrise and choose a topic worth exploring. In addition to the heavy hitters – like Spanish, physics, and geography – Memrise also offers lessons in more superfluous topics like famous people, random facts, and football. Once you find your interest, start a new session and begin the education process. One of the core principles behind Memrise is that learning should be like a garden, and seeds of information should grow into gardens of long-term knowledge over time. Answer questions throughout each lesson, and you’ll earn points or “seeds.” As the knowledge you’ve accumulated becomes more embedded in your brain – with use of practice questions – those seeds will sprout into plants, and eventually blossom into gardens.

If Memrise is missing a course that you think would be worthwhile, then you can get started creating it yourself. The entire web-application is crowd-sourced, which means the topics and content are developed by other users just like you. For people who enjoy the process of lifelong learning, Memrise is an excellent educational tool that’s completely free to use.

Practical Uses:

  • Improve your Spanish skills
  • Improve your knowledge of molecular biology
  • Memorize the capitals of all 50 states
  • Learn about the Civil War

Insider Tips:

  • Mems are anything that helps a person learn the meaning behind a word
  • Users can create their own courses, flashcards, and mems
  • Memrise tracks how many people use the mems that each user adds
  • People can upload spreadsheets, videos, and audio to the mems they create

What we liked:

  • Memrise is a great tool for learning foreign languages
  • People can use Memrise for free
  • The gardening concept is a great way to solidify information inside your head
  • People can focus on studying only the memories that are “wilting” in their minds

What we didn’t like:

  • Memrise is currently aimed at helping English speakers learn other languages, and not the other way around


Company Info:

  • Launched: September 2010
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: New York, New York
  • Founded by: Ed Cooke and Greg Detre
  • Web site:


  • Free

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