True confession time: I have explored, but not signed up for, Memrise. And lest I inadvertently mislead anyone, this lovely web app is not openly licensed or open source to the best of my knowledge. So why am I sharing it here, on a blog, where we love to talk about OER and open access and Creative Commons? Well, a couple three reasons:

  1. We talk about other stuff all the time; take a look at any (ironically named) OER Newsletter in our archives to confirm;
  2. We’ve mentioned Memrise once upon a time, got reminded of it via a friend on Twitter, and we see that it’s come a long way;
  3. Shameless self-promotion. If you’d like to learn the science behind this site, you could do worse than take our free Cognitive Psychology, Educational Psychology, and Psychology of Learning and Behavior courses. And we’ve got language courses on the way soon…best get your language chops ready now!

The details, then:

A free online community that “uses images & science to make learning languages and facts child’s play.” Per their About Us page, the ingredients are fairly simple: science, fun, and community. More specifically, the site uses learning and memory techniques to help users get and retain fact-based knowledge, simultaneously doing its level best to make memorization fun.

Their Team page will say it better than I can, but these folks have expertise in memory, cognitive science, and design.

I’m going to be self-serving and mention the ample Simplified Mandarin vocabulary offerings, but if you want to impress your friends with your knowledge of Morse Code, there’s that too.

<< Photo credit: EJP Photo via photopin CC BY-NC-SA >>

If you have a great resource (especially one that falls into an OER box), tell us — in the comments, via social media, or straight to David, who’s keeping track of this sort of thing.