Technology is changing the way we learn, and Khan Academy, MIT Open CourseWare, and Coursera are some of the most widely-used websites that bring high-quality online education to your desk for free. Those pioneers have paved the way for other education entrepreneurs to fill niches in the education market.
In 2012, novice entrepreneur Sue Khim founded Alltuition.com, which covered everything about student loans. The website compiled the largest database of student loans to help borrowers track down the lowest rate.
But Khim did not stop here. Now she has launched a new online hub for students which provides a challenging intellectual environment for mathematics and physics. At the Launch conference in San Francisco, Brilliant.org debuted as an online hub for high-achieving students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects.
Brilliant.org provides an opportunity to students from all over the world to come together, connect, and see how they measure up against one another. The website offers different levels of competitions and challenges to the students designed for talented 11- to 18-year-olds who had turned to Google for hard math/physics problems, Turnstylenews.com reported.
One of Brilliant.org's unique features is that it is an academic socializing website where learning is anything but isolated — students around the world to get challenged with high-level concepts and problems..
For new users Brilliant.org offers an analytic exam to help plot their course. User can pick its difficulty level from 1 to 5.
Then website begins delivering "tantalizingly tricky and hard" questions written by math and physics teachers, Khim said.
Brilliant.org uses social networking to bring transparency to global competition. It allows students to share their answers, and how they devised them, with the Brilliant community and their social networks.
The target is a potential market of 21 million students. It focuses on children across the world as young as 11 who are the best among their peer groups at science and math.
Khim presented the idea of this online tool at the Launch Festival in San Francisco, and Launch judge and former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya helped spark the idea.
Brilliant.org was built on the concept that there are many websites that help high school students in online education, but there is no such online place to challenge A and B students.
Brilliant.org seeks to challenge gifted students with "tantalizingly tricky" problems.
"There's a ton of people outside the U.S. that are trying to get into U.S. schools that have no path to figure that out," Palihapitiya told Brilliant founder Khim after her Alltuition presentation.
Assuming that users already have a strong foundation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics topics, Brilliant.org focuses on measurement, Khim said, adding that it considers questions like: "How can we structure practice in such a way that they will understand (a concept) by the end of the practice? And then how do we measure throughout whether they're on track to understand it or not?"
Currently, Brilliant's user base is 120,000 and is growing day by day.