Brainscape, a leading web and mobile education app, is launching a new digital flashcard collection that offers a “free minimum viable education" in the basics every American should know about the world, but that they may not have learned in school or personal life experience.

“From history’s greatest artists, authors, and leaders to the spices, wines, flags, and capital cities of the world, and more, we have consulted with dozens of students, educators, and experts to curate these general knowledge flashcards,” explains Brainscape founder and CEO, Andrew Cohen.

“And we have done this in fulfillment of a greater goal, which is to democratize access to the benefits of spaced repetition, and to educational opportunity in general, irrespective of socio-economic background. We’re essentially providing a baseline education to the world, for free.”

Leveling the playing field in education

Brainscape’s success has long been credited to spaced repetition, a science-backed learning algorithm that delivers information to the brain in a way that optimizes its ability to retain that information.

But over and above helping high school students pass their APs, or professional-level students pass the MCAT or bar exam, Brainscape has held central to its agenda to make the world’s knowledge accessible, digestible, and available to all for free.

"Many people are not privileged enough to have grown up around a holistically educated culture or to have had the opportunity to really apply themselves in school, and we suffer greatly from it later in life," says Cohen, who believes that a well-rounded knowledge of the world helps people to forge connections with others, including potentially career-altering ones.

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“After 5 years of consulting with experts and fierce back-and-forth, what we have arrived at is a collection of 4,000+ flashcards that provide a more convenient and condensed single stream of knowledge than has never been attempted in previous cultural literacy initiatives,” concludes Cohen. “And we’re only going to keep adding to it in the coming years.”

Knowledge rehabilitation and cultural literacy for the 21st Century

The newly-released collection consists of three flashcard packs: Knowledge Rehab (“Everything you wish you’d learned in school” covering subjects like history, earth science, and literature); Street Smarts (“Everything you wish you’d learned in life” covering survival skills, basic home and car maintenance, and fundamental culinary knowledge); and Vocab Workout (“The words to express yourself better” covering more complex, yet useful English vocabulary).

Together, these three packs of 4,000+ flashcards aim to bring users up to speed on the essentials of everything, and they come preloaded with every free Brainscape account.

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