Google has publicly disclosed that it has acquired the mobile learning app, Socratic, this week. However, Google has yet to reveal any details regarding the acquisition.
Socratic is a mobile learning app that aims to help students who are in high school and university with their schoolwork when they are out of the classroom. It helps them through its available resources and it points them to the probable concepts that could lead them to the correct answer.
Socratic was founded by Shreyans Bhansali and Chris Pedregal back in 2013. The app actually started as a web product. The founders were prompted to create Socratic as they were not able to find a platform where people — both teachers and students alike — can come together as a community and collaborate.
This also led to the goal of the site to create a space that made learning reachable and available for and to all students. Socratic was also aimed at becoming a central space where teachers can share information.
On the Socratic website, students were able to ask post questions. These questions were often very detailed, allowing users to help each other by providing answers. The site became a homework helper that connected teachers, mentors, and students.
In 2015, two years after it was launched, Socratic had about 500,000 users in its community. In the same year, the education tech company was able to raise a $6 million funding from the Omidyar Network, Spark Capital, and Shasta Ventures.
Three years after its introduction, Socratic launched its app version. When the app first came out, it had a Quora-like Q&A platform. However, it soon evolved into focusing less on user contribution and more on its utility aspect.
On the Socratic app, a user can take a photo of the homework and put it up on the platform. This led to the user not only getting the answer but also showed the steps on how to get it right.
Users were able to post math problems and they were taught the necessary steps to get the right answer. This feature was similar to other math solving apps available around that time.
What made Socratic different from those apps was the fact that it did not focus solely on math alone. It also covered other subjects like literature, science, history, and so much more.
Before its acquisition by Google last year, Socratic removed the social feature of the app. In June of the same year, it also closed the user contribution feature on its website and announced that it would be focusing on its app entirely.
In their quest to make Socratic a tool that can easily help students, Google has worked on improving the app and its features. With Google’s acquisition of Socratic, it has revamped and relaunched the app. Socratic is also seen as something that can support Google Assistant technology across different platforms.
Just like with the old Socratic app, the latest version still covers a wide variety of subjects. Users can use the app to help them with different matters.
There are over 1,000 subject guides on the app that would cover high school and higher education topics. The study guides allow its users to study or go over a specific topic through key or highlighted points.
When using the app, it only takes the user two taps to see the subject matter they needed help with. If the user wants to learn more, the platform links to different resources that can be found on the web.
The new Socratic app is now also powered by AI. Apart from still being able to post photos of the problems, the app is now equipped with text and speech recognition.
Google’s AI makes use of dedicated algorithms that can address complex problems. The AI component can also break concepts down and make them shorter and easier for its users.
Socratic by Google was recently relaunched on iOS last August 15. For Android users, they might have to wait a bit more. The revamped Android version of Socratic will be available for download from the Google Play store this coming fall.