frequently asked questions
about next knowledge
When and why was Next Knowledge founded?
Next Knowledge was conceived in 2018 by Stephen Straker and Lawrence Feld. Driven by a desire to help improve how learners learn and after two years of effort, Next Knowledge officially launched in 2020.
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 underdeveloped 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 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 encourages a state of active learning, which promotes better results for all learners. An active learner is an engaged learner - and an engaged learner is far more likely to retain and reuse the material they process. 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.
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. 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.
Who can benefit from using Alice?
Learners from all academic settings and professional backgrounds can advance their learning practices by using Alice and through application of the LIRN method. It is a one-size fits all solution that encourages improved reading comprehension.
What is the cost associated with Alice?
Our Solo Plan is designed for individuals on a monthly or annual basis; our Pod plans cater to groups of up to four learners. Our plans cost less than a medium Tim's coffee per day :) To learn more about each plan, please check back after we launch in December :)
Can I share my membership/subscription with others?
The Pod Plan comes with 4 licenses that can be assigned to different users. 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. If you know of a group that may benefit from our tools, please reach out to us here - and thank you for helping us spread the word!