frequently asked questions
about next knowledge
When and why was Next Knowledge founded?
Next Knowledge was conceived by Stephen Straker and Lawrence Feld in 2018. Driven by a desire to help improve how learners learn and after two years of effort, Alice was created in 2020 and Next Knowledge officially launched to the public in 2021.
What is Next Knowledge?
We are a learning company dedicated to enabling deep learning and comprehension that remains out of reach for too many individuals. Our mission is to provide lasting social value by delivering a proven method to help people comprehend, retain and reuse information... forever.
How will Next Knowledge improve lives?
The central issue that Next Knowledge addresses is under-developed reading and writing performance that results in decreased confidence and ambition, as well as greater challenges in life generally. By helping learners learn with a lasting method they can use throughout their lives, we help to level the playing field. Learners of all abilities can have a better shot at a happy, successful life.
What is LIRN?
LIRN is our proven and proprietary method (patent pending) to enhance learning. LIRN is a series of steps any learner can take to truly comprehend, retain and ultimately reuse the material in front of them. Our method provides the foundation needed for individuals to keep learning successfully in all stages of life.
How do you know LIRN works?
Our proprietary learning method was developed by our co-founder, Lawrence Feld, over 30 years ago. Lawrence developed the method, LIRN, after exhausting his entire toolkit while helping a child that was struggling to pass in school in spite of an extremely high IQ. Since developing the method, LIRN has been demonstrated to work effectively on thousands of learners from a broad range of ages and abilities.
What/who is Alice?
Next Knowledge’s Artificial Learning Intelligence & Comprehension Engine, Alice, is the digital delivery agent of the LIRN method. Alice is a companion on a learner’s journey, always available and ready to give them a starting place in the materials at hand.
What are the benefits of using Alice?
Alice initiates active learning, which promotes better results for all learners. Much of the learning done today is passive: a learner is bombarded with subject matter, provided with the answers required to complete a task and expected to retain them. The responsibility in a system like this is on the learner alone. In an active learning environment, learning becomes less a one-sided conversation and more interactive - the learner engages with the process and thereby absorbs and retains a much higher percentage of the material. LIRN -- and Alice’s delivery of it -- is based on this approach. An active learner is an engaged learner, and an engaged learner is far more likely to retain and reuse the material they read.
How can LIRN/Alice help me?
Alice lets learners take control of their own learning, while providing unique guidance and assistance. While the methodology behind our approach was originally created for kids with diagnosed learning disabilities, Alice is designed to help any learner. The key behind it is the companion nature of Alice: she stays with you while you are learning, making suggestions and helping you create study materials that will be beneficial to your long-term retention
Why should I use LIRN/Alice?
You should use our LIRN method and Alice if you’re looking to improve how you engage with text. Our method helps develop new learning habits that will increase confidence and promote success. At Next Knowledge, we recognize the difference between teaching how to memorize and teaching how to comprehend, and Alice helps learners understand information, not simply repeat it.
How does someone interact with Alice?
To interact with Alice you need to sign-up for a membership and create an account here. Once your account is set up, you will input a given text (informative or literary) and Alice will process the text by breaking it up into its individual words, terms or phrases, and then suggest the word that represents the main topic. From there, you can move on to create your own written materials based on the text. For additional information on how Alice works, you can view our demo here along with FAQs for members.
Who can benefit from using Alice?
Almost everyone can benefit from Alice. Learners from all professional backgrounds and academic settings can advance their learning practices by using Alice and applying the LIRN method. It is a one-size fits all solution that encourages improved reading comprehension.
What is the cost associated with Alice?
We have "solo" plans for individuals on a monthly or annual basis, as well as "pod" plans and classroom plans for groups of many learners. Our plans cost less than a medium Tim's coffee per day :) To learn more about individual plans click here. If you're interested in pod plans or classroom plans, please contact us.
Can I share my membership/subscription with others?
No, the Solo Plan is designed for a single user.
What's your "buy one, give one" all about?
Not everyone can afford helpful tools like Alice, but we don't want that to stop individuals from benefiting from the opportunities unlocked through our methods. We built this into our business model: for every paid member, we give a membership to someone in need. We typically deliver these memberships through schools in under-privileged communities and through requests we receive from educators and community groups.