Geekie: Personalized Learning for All

About the Project

This project is one of the 2016 WISE Awards winners.

Geekie is an adaptive learning platform that constantly customizes students’ learning experiences instead of providing a single standardized solution to all. Over the last 18 months, the company’s solutions have already helped five million students throughout the country, from all states and from 90 percent percent of Brazilian cities. Geekie uses technology to understand each person’s learning profile and customize her study plan, using machine learning and big data tools to personalize education at large scale.

Geekie is contributing to changing Brazil’s future by offering three solutions to both students and schools: Geekie Test, Geekie Lab and Geekie Games. Geekie Test is an assessment tool that provides real time feedback and information about students’ learning gaps and capabilities to students, teachers and schools. Geekie Test is the only assessment tool in the market that is certified by the Ministry of Education of Brazil. Geekie Lab is an adaptive learning platform that customizes the study plan for every student, and Geekie Games is its B2C version, designed to scale the impact of the regular assessments and the study plans.

Geekie and its team were awarded the title of “Start-up of the Year” in 2014 by IBM and that of “Social entrepreneurs of the year” by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship in 2015. Claudio Sassaki was identified by Wired Magazine as the Social Innovator of the year in 2015.

Context and Issue

Education systems rarely consider the specific needs of each student or group of students. Education in Brazil is also lacking in quality: only ten percent percent of those who finish high school in Brazil learn the basics in Portuguese and Mathematics. This reinforces a vicious circle of poverty and poor education. As a result, the performance of students in international assessments such as the PISA is disastrous. Brazil performs well below the average in mathematics (ranking between 57 and 60), reading ( between 54 and 56) and science (between 57 and 60) among the 65 countries that participated in the assessment. More than 67 percent percent of the students are low performers in mathematics, meaning that they can hardly extract relevant information from a single source or use basic algorithms, formulae, procedures or conventions to solve problems involving whole numbers. According to OECD standards, they do not have the required math skills to keep learning at school or to compete in the labor market.

Solution and Impact

Geekie offers three main features to students. Geekie Test is an assessment tool that provides feedback in real time for large-scale assessments. Geekie Lab is an adaptive learning platform that customizes the study plan for every student, adapting content based on how each student learns best, whether it is a video, a text, a game or a flashcard. Geekie Games is a test prep tool that makes regular assessments of students in order to offer personalized study plans.

Over the last 18 months, Geekie has helped more than five million students. Students who use Geekie’s solutions score on average 30 percent percent higher grades over a two-month period than students who don’t use the platform. Geekie has impacted more than 20,000 schools so far. Furthermore, to date over 15 million video lesson have been watched, nearly 10 million text lessons have been consulted, over 60 million tests have been taken, and around seven million personalized study plans have been created. Geekie has also impacted those who need the most: approximately 82 percent percent of Geekie’s registered users were students from public schools. Geekie has been recognized by Brazil’s Ministry of Education and it is the only adaptive learning platform in Brazil with official certification. It has become the largest online education company in K-12 education in the country and it is helping democratize access to high quality education for all Brazilians.

Future Developments

As one of the fastest growing social businesses in Brazil, Geekie truly believes that social impact must walk hand in hand with financial sustainability and operate a one-for-one business model: for every private school that buys Geekie’s solutions, it offers the same product to a public school.

Nowadays, Geekie operates as a healthy social business by offering an integrated solution for schools, taking into account the different needs of managers, teachers and students (Geekie Lab & Geekie Test) and also by charging a modest fee for their freemium Test-Prep app (Geekie Games).

May 26, 2016 (last update 12-24-2020)