What are the benefits and drawbacks of using Brainly.com in education?
Using Brainly.com in education has several benefits. It allows students to take control of their own learning by providing online resources . Additionally, it offers convenience and flexibility for students to learn at their own pace . However, there are also drawbacks to using Brainly.com. Some students still prefer face-to-face classes as they believe it is a better approach to pursuing their degrees . Furthermore, there is a lack of knowledge about brain-based learning techniques among online faculty, highlighting the need for professional development and training .
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Brainly: Democratizing education by giving students worldwide access to expert study help, 24/7
When they’re stuck on a problem, more than 350 million students and parents turn to Brainly. The Kraków-based technology company democratizes education with a collaborative online learning platform where students can ask questions and get answers instantly. Parents can link their accounts to the ones of their kids. Today, Brainly is supported in multiple languages in more than 35 countries.
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Using vision ai, brainly built a “snap to solve” feature for mobile that helps students find answers via photo queries, achieving a 70% satisfaction rate while increasing paid subscription numbers., google cloud results.
- Bolsters user engagement with intuitive photo query feature for smartphones, achieving 6x more engagement than traditional typed queries
- Supports students in different languages across 35 countries with multilingual capabilities of Google Vision AI
- Increases revenues, boosting paid subscription numbers, thanks to high satisfaction with “Snap to Solve” searches
- Enables 10x increase in instant answers to queries by improving machine learning algorithms with TensorFlow
- Ensures stable service even during record peaks thanks to automatic scaling to the demand with Google Cloud
70% of users happy with “Snap to Solve” search results
In education, technology is a game changer. With the world at their fingertips, the students have become the masters. But while tech is changing the way we learn, it’s not a silver bullet. Classrooms are constantly evolving, and teachers are using smart technology to drive engagement or personalize learning plans. However, not all learning happens in the classroom. When students are doing their homework or studying for exams, there’s not always someone around to ask for advice. Enter Brainly .
For more than 350 million students, teachers and parents worldwide, Brainly is the place they go to when there’s a problem they can’t solve by themselves. The knowledge-sharing community crowdsources answers to any question, helping students tackle their toughest assignments with expert guidance, 24/7. Parents can create their own accounts to follow their kids’ educational progress and help them find the right answers.
Brainly was founded in 2009, long before COVID-19 swept the globe and forced students and teachers to rediscover what it means to learn and teach without a classroom. In this new world, Brainly’s services suddenly became even more popular than ever before.
“The pandemic has been tough on all of us, but in many ways, students were the ones who were left behind,” explains Bill Salak, CTO at Brainly. “That’s why students turned to our platform in record numbers. This didn’t just challenge us in terms of the sheer traffic, but also made us think about features to help our students get back on track with their education.”
“The kinds of problems students encounter are pretty similar around the world, but we need to make sure that we can solve them in multiple languages. Other AI solutions we looked at focused mainly on English and a few additional languages, whereas Vision AI enables us to support our students in the language they prefer. That’s why Google Cloud was the right choice for us.”
Mobile learning done right with Vision AI
Students increasingly use their mobile devices to help them learn and access support, but queries on a smartphone are more cumbersome than simple desktop searches. That’s why the Brainly team came up with its Snap to Solve feature: instead of typing in questions manually, students can simply take a photo of them with the Brainly app and select from a set of relevant answers from the Brainly database.
Because Brainly is active in 35 countries, every new solution needs to cover a variety of languages and work natively in all of them. Besides scalability, performance, accuracy, and price, the multilingual capabilities of Google Cloud made the Vision AI platform a perfect fit for Brainly.
“The kinds of problems students encounter are pretty similar around the world, but we need to make sure that we can solve them in multiple languages,” explains Gabriel Habryn, Domain Lead at Brainly. “Other AI solutions we looked at focused mainly on English and a few additional languages, whereas Vision AI enables us to support our students in the language they prefer. That’s why Google Cloud was the right choice for us.”
“At launch, only a small percentage of queries delivered an instant answer in the US region. By improving our machine learning algorithms with TensorFlow, we’re achieving ten times more, and that number is growing. More than 70% of our users are very happy with the results they’re getting, which is even higher than for text queries.”
Answers within seconds, in two languages
With help from Brainly’s Snap to Solve feature, students and parents can tackle any written question, but also math problems. Here’s how it works: with the Brainly app, users simply snap a photo of the question, and Vision AI’s optical character recognition (OCR) analyzes the image’s content to extract words and sentences. If there’s a perfect match for the query, Brainly delivers an instant answer within seconds, if not, the app falls back to a full text search, combing through Brainly’s entire knowledge base to find a selection of relevant answers.
Snap to Solve is a hit with students. They love its convenience and the fact that they no longer have to type in questions manually on their phones. “As soon as we introduced the Snap to Solve solution, we experienced a huge shift from typed queries to photos,” says Grzegorz Kućma, Senior Manager, Mobile at Brainly. “Today, we’re observing engagement that’s significantly higher for photo queries compared to text queries.”
High accuracy, high satisfaction
Brainly is constantly optimizing its search algorithms and machine learning models, but the progress has already been astounding. Using TensorFlow ’s Multilingual Universal Sentence Encoder, the team developed an in-house solution to find instant answers for queries. “At launch, only a small percentage of queries delivered an instant answer in the US region,” says Kućma. “By improving our machine learning algorithms with Tensorflow, we’re achieving ten times more, and that number is growing. More than 70% of our users are very happy with the results they’re getting, which is even higher than for text queries.”
While Brainly’s services can be used for free, there’s a Brainly Plus subscription that gives users an ad-free experience and access to all answers and more. The happier students are with the Snap to Solve results, the more likely they are to use it, explains Kućma: “We’ve observed that users who received instant answers are more likely to buy our subscription, because they see the value of our product. The better our solution, the better we can monetize our services.”
And photo searches aren’t Brainly’s only novelty. While Snap to Solve queries are the most popular way to find answers, voice search is also gathering steam. Using Android’s speech to text features, the Brainly app can deliver answers to audio queries as well, giving students another way to avoid typed queries. “While Snap to Solve is definitely going to be the most popular way of searching in the future, audio queries may overtake and replace regular typed searches,” says Kućma. “With Google Cloud, we can deliver excellent quality on both.”
Scaling to the needs of students
When COVID-19 closed down classrooms around the world, Brainly quickly gained tens of millions of new users. Meanwhile, existing students were more dependent on the platform than ever before, leading to peaks in traffic. Thanks to the scalability of Google Cloud, the team didn’t need to worry about availability and performance issues.
“During the pandemic, we really had to raise the quota to meet the demand,” says Habryn. “Because Google Vision scales to our needs automatically, there was no technical effort necessary from our side. Even during record peaks, we were able to focus on improving our solution, rather than make sure that it’s working.”
Scaling up resources is also a cost question, and the flexibility of Google Cloud helps Brainly make better spending decisions in line with the company’s budget. For example, Android enables online OCR processing while ML Kit enables this offline, the latter being more cost-efficient. “Scaling up generates more cost, and the ability to switch between the online and offline OCR solution gives us an additional opportunity to control costs,” says Michał Leszek, Director of Information Technology and Data Protection Officer at Brainly.
“Everyone who’s ever been to school knows what it’s like to be stuck on a problem you just can’t solve, but not everyone has the same resources to get the right help. At Brainly, we’re using Google Cloud technology to build a solution that democratizes access to education and helps students who often get left behind.”
Democratizing education with Google Cloud
Students worldwide already love Brainly’s new Snap to Solve capabilities, but the team is constantly thinking about ways to make it even better. In the future, it might recognize handwriting as well, which is supported by Vision AI. Because every language is different, developers at Brainly also work hard to optimize text recognition in different languages.
Much like its users, Brainly will never stop learning. But every new answer, every new feature, and every gain in accuracy is in service of a larger goal: democratizing education. “Everyone who’s ever been to school knows what it’s like to be stuck on a problem you just can’t solve,” says Bill Salak, CTO at Brainly. “But not everyone has the same resources to get the right help. At Brainly, we’re using Google Cloud technology to build a solution that democratizes access to education and helps students who often get left behind.”
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The Nuances of Education-Tech Publisher Monetisation: Q&A with Brainly & Yieldbird
by Lindsay Rowntree on 23rd Nov 2017 in News
In September, ad-optimisation company, Yieldbird, announced a new partnership with Brainly , an education technology publisher, which offers a unique platform for sharing knowledge amongst students, across 35 languages. ExchangeWire speaks exclusively with Przemysław Oborski, business development manager, Brainly, and Bartłomiej Chmiel, managing director, Yieldbird (both pictured below), about the nuances of publisher yield optimisation in the edtech sector.
ExchangeWire: Can you explain what Brainly does and how the site works?
Przemysław Oborski, Brainly: Brainly is the world’s largest student-powered, peer-to-peer learning community. Our mission is to inspire students to share and explore knowledge in a collaborative community. We provide students with a simple and accessible way to work through questions from their courses and empower them to learn and solve problems across all common subjects. Brainly offers a supportive community of like-minded peers that fills the gaps students face in their own schools – whether those gaps are social, behavioural, or academic. Students connect to their peers to help strengthen their skills, from math, to science, to history, and beyond. Based in Kraków, Poland, with US headquarters in New York City, Brainly is currently visited by monthly users from 35 countries. It is backed by Naspers, Point Nine Capital, General Catalyst, Runa Capital, and Learn Capital.
How does publisher monetisation in the educational technology sector differ from more traditional sites?
Bartłomiej Chmiel, Managing Director, Yieldbird
Bartłomiej Chmiel, Yieldbird: In the educational tech sector, things take shape slightly differently than with other publishers, such as news or sports sectors. Direct sales and deals, for instance, make up a smaller share of the sales.
Not to mention the holidays, which vary from country to country, are mostly considered a dead season. With the school year coming to an end, a staggering economic revival always comes with it, followed by a dreadful drop in revenues for up to a few months, until the first day of school. It comes full circle, year in, year out. That makes the business quite susceptible to all types of holiday breaks, as not many users remain to pump up the learning curve when others take their time off.
Our statistics also report cyclical traffic on a weekly basis. On weekends, we report significantly less traffic that starts to rise on Sunday, continues growing during the week, and declining heavily on Friday afternoon. It has a certain rhythm that says much about the users.
Last but not least, we know visitors to educational websites prove to show lower tolerance for over-advertising than on other types of websites. This is why we recommend finding the right UX balance to all publishers in the sector.
Brainly reaches over 80 million unique users in 35 different countries – how are you monetising your audiences?
Oborski, Brainly: Brainly is still on its way to finding a final monetisation model. We’re currently focused on increasing our global reach and improving the user experience for our students. We are testing some ideas for monetisation on selected markets, but they’re still in the early stages.
What are the challenges of devising a yield-maximisation strategy with such a geographically diverse audience base?
Chmiel, Yieldbird: The geo setups we apply differ on a vast scale. Brainly operates in diverse regions of the world daily, like in Europe, Asia, Americas, or Africa. It takes different SSP platforms in various countries to build the best working ad stack. Yet, these SSPs differ in terms of the quality and quantity of demands in different countries as well. It’s not much different when it comes to optimisation strategies, such as the marginalisation of one platform over another being defined by the demand sources in header bidding.
With some geo setups, the first-look option works better, eg. in LATAM, particularly in Brazil. Yet, for others, it has no effect whatsoever, such as in Asia, where this channel is considered hardly significant.
Przemysław Oborski, Business Development & Partnerships Manager, Brainly
Now, imagine that even the local state of affairs can have a drastic impact on the business itself, eg. the recent earthquake in Mexico, or hurricanes in the south of the US. Such circumstances require an immediate reaction, as the publisher can face revenue drops due to agencies pulling budgets, for instance. Keeping your shirt on when things go bad is the key in the ad tech business. In such situations, we need to adjust our optimisation strategies and actively account for the extra demand.
Eventually, it all comes down to driving additional demand by establishing relationships with various buyers. At times, it takes a heck of an effort, as cultural gaps or time zone differences can easily spoil the party. But we certainly try what works best depending on the case we are facing.
With users from so many different markets, how do you manage all the foreign traffic you are receiving, to ensure you can attract advertisers from all over the world? How is Yieldbird helping you do this?
Oborski, Brainly: Brainly content specialists work on data analysis every day and they make sure that our communities are growing, so we’re receiving more and more traffic from countries around the world. In addition, each region or country has a dedicated team of native speakers and specialists who work in our Kraków office, as well as from many different places around the world, such as New York City, Brazil, or the Philippines. Thanks to Yieldbird’s support with our local markets, we receive valuable help in acquiring programmatic direct deals. This cooperation generates plenty of connections with brands and agencies that would otherwise be difficult to achieve.
Monetisation Publisher Supply Side
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