It was in the mid to late 1990s that computers started to become a commodity for the common household. Since then, computer and internet usage have only continued to become ingrained in our day-to-day lives. With that, we've adapted and welcomed the changes with open arms. With the knowledge of the world at our fingertips, we're unstoppable. Well, if we can figure out where on the internet to look for knowledge.
Enter Brilliant.org, a doorway to the world's knowledge for the ever-curious mind.
What is Brilliant?
Brilliant.org is an interactive learning platform that focuses on STEM. With its app and website, Brilliant aims to make learning more bearable by gamifying the experience. What's more, the minds behind Brilliant have designed their platform to be suitable to a wide range of ages and experience levels. According to the app and website, “Brilliant creates inspiring, interactive learning experiences for ages 10 through 110.”
The website offers over 60 Brilliant learning courses, all focusing on logic, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Unlike some websites, if you don't want to pay for premium, you can still access some of Brilliant's content for free.
What Does Brilliant feature?
For this Brilliant review, I will mainly be focusing on Brilliant premium; So the features mentioned here will mostly be what you can get with the premium package.
The website offers over 60 Brilliant learning courses, designed to teach you everything you want to know about STEM. Keep in mind, Brilliant only offers STEM-related courses and content. Some may consider this a drawback, I don't. In my personal experience, when a website or app focuses exclusively on one niche, they tend to do a better job of providing content and information for that niche. Personally, I believe that the quality of the content offered by Brilliant.org compensates fairly for the limited variety in the subject matter.
So what does Brilliant.org offer?
New Daily problems and puzzles. Featured in both premium and free membership
An entire daily challenges archive. Want to revisit a puzzle or problem but can't remember it? That's what the archive is for.
Synced progress across all devices. If you have the app or just like to switch things up, Brilliant has your back. This is also a free feature, so you don't need to go premium to keep your data synced.
Offline mode on the mobile app. No wifi? No problem! With Brilliant, you can download content and courses, making it that much easier for you as a user. So, even if you're going on a remote camping trip, there's no excuse to leave your studies behind.
Guided courses. Brilliant.org features guided courses in the following subjects:
- Foundational math
- Advanced math
- Computer Science
Breaking down the benefits
The key benefit to any educational platform is the opportunity to advance your knowledge. Brilliant.org not only gives you that opportunity, but it also does so in such a unique way that it doesn't feel like work.
I've always had difficulty with traditional learning, and I believe many others feel the same. Sometimes learning something new, or even refreshing your mind on an old subject, can be overwhelming and dull. With Brilliant, you get content that is fun and understandable, setting them apart from other platforms.
Brilliant even goes a step further by providing content designed for you. You don't have to worry about being a beginner with no foundation in computer science and finding yourself neck-deep in an advanced course. They offer courses that are for fresh beginners and seasoned experts alike.
Brilliant courses are created by reputable and award-winning professionals. They provide quality content from the sharpest minds; You don't have to worry about misinformation or learning something incorrectly.
Brilliant has both an app and a website. You can study and learn on whichever platform is more comfortable for you, wherever you want to be. This makes knowledge more accessible to those of us who are busy or may not have a functioning computer. With synced data, you won't have to worry about losing your place, and you can focus on what's important.
Does Brilliant offer certification or accredited courses?
In short; No. Brilliant's focus has always been on providing a fun, interactive, and accessible place to learn independently. With that goal in mind, they do not provide certifications or college credits. Brilliant is meant to be used as a tool to keep your mind sharp or help you independently access knowledge and information significant to you. They are not an academy or alternative substitute to accredited education.
Certainly, using Brilliant as a resource in addition to your other studies can help you achieve your goals, but you won't get certifications here.
App vs Website
When I first stumbled across Brilliant, it was in the app store. Since then, I've investigated the website itself to get a feel for what would best work for me. While I prefer the app for easy access on the go, the website has more features to put your knowledge to practice.
Both platforms showcase a streak counter, count quizzes solved, and count problems solved. Each also offers access to your courses and content as well as daily problems and puzzles.
The main contrast that I find between the two is that the website offers a coding environment. This can be incredibly helpful if you are new to learning code and need someplace to practice. Unfortunately, the online coding environment is only compatible with Python 3, Bash, C, Rust, and Q#. However, this is still a good option for you if you are new to coding and don't have a Linux OS or aren't ready to make the leap to installing something like Ubuntu.
Overall, for day-to-day use, the app seems like the way to go. But if you are learning to code the website is worth checking out.
What audience benefits from using Brilliant?
Anyone can benefit from more knowledge, so anyone can benefit from using Brilliant. However, those likely to benefit most are students or anyone who is looking to learn something to improve their STEM skills. It could be particularly useful to college students majoring in STEM or professionals who want to keep their minds sharp. Using Brilliant learning courses as an additional resource paired with traditional course material could definitely give your average student an edge. As a professional, using Brilliant to stay up to date on your skillset or refresh your mind would make you a fierce competitor.
As a whole, Brilliant is for everyone, which makes it an ideal place to learn. It also eliminates the intimidating aspect of being out of your depth, making it a fantastic place for beginners.
What does Brilliant Premium cost?
Brilliant premium offers three plans; Monthly, annually, and for groups of three or more. For their monthly plan, they charge 24.99 USD a month, making out to be just over 299 USD a year.
Brilliant's most popular annual plan costs just 9.99 USD a month, which is just over 119 a year. This is an annual savings of 180 USD a year. You can see why this would be the most popular for long-term savings if you are ready for the commitment.
Finally, their plan for groups of three or more starts at 299.88 USD a year. That's three seats for 24.99 USD a month plus 9.99 a month for each additional seat. If you are an educator, stay tuned, they have something for you.
Brilliant for Educators
If you are an educator, you can apply for a free education plan. This allows for you to bring Brilliant into your classroom, whether it's remote or in person. They give you access to problem-solving, interactive lessons and material, classroom tools, and more. Brilliant is a sharp tool for mindful educators to introduce their students to the basics of STEM and encourage young minds to grow.
To be eligible for an educator account you need to meet certain criteria. If you think you might be a good fit, take a look:
- Be an educator in an eligible classroom
- Verify your education status
Eligible classrooms and education programs
- K-12 Schools
- Accredited colleges or universities, post-grad institutions, trade schools, and more
- Online courses led by an instructor
Brilliant does not provide an educator account for
- Self-directed education
- Tutors or tutoring centers
These educator accounts are valid for two years and you will need to reapply by the end of that term. You can even test the program prior to applying for an educator account by contacting Brilliant at [email protected], they will send you a temporary login so that you can look around. Brilliant for educators is all access with no restrictions. You will be able to use all of their content with no red tape.
For more information on Brilliant for educators visit Brilliant.org/educators.
With over 50,000 five-star reviews on the iOS app store and Google Play, it's safe to say that most people love it. Overall, people seem to be engaged by Brilliant's quality and simplicity. Reviews range from parents whose children use Brilliant to improve their grades to everyday people looking to improve their problem-solving skills.
The general consensus seems to be that Brilliant.org provides quality content at an affordable price. Their content is broken down into bite-sized pieces to keep users engaged and from getting overwhelmed. Content and course material is all created by Brilliant's team of educators who all have a college education. If you'd like to look more into their credentials and bios, you can visit Brilliant.org/educator-bios.
Brilliant content is brought to you by over 70 instructors and researchers from around the world. These course contributors are carefully curated by the Brilliant team, so quality is assured.
Every day new breakthroughs are being made in STEM, so it's important to keep up to date. Brilliant.org strives to do this and as a result, they regularly review and update their materials. This keeps users brilliant by providing them with the latest information related to their courses. You won't be taught out-of-date information.
In addition to this, they provide daily problems and puzzles to keep you thinking. An active mind is a healthy mind, so think of these puzzles and problems like sit-ups for your brain.
Both the website and app have a sleek and minimalist appearance. Navigation is easy and accessing your courses is only a click away. Suggested and most popular courses are listed second after any courses you may be currently enrolled in. In the app, you have four separate tabs on the bottom to navigate and a sidebar menu on the upper left-hand side.
The website has a similar layout, allowing you to navigate from your home screen, courses, and today's tabs. Both are aesthetically pleasing and simple enough to use.
Is Brilliant Legit?
With all of this in mind, it's safe to say Brilliant is pretty legit. The minds behind the ground-breaking website have taken great care to make their content the highest quality for an affordable price. All of their courses are completely legit, with material created by knowledgeable professionals in STEM fields of study. The subject matter available gives you in-depth explanations that are easy to comprehend with quizzes that allow you to test your smarts.
Brilliant is separated into individual learning paths that are broken down into courses. Many of these courses are guided, giving learners a chance at better understanding and interacting with some of the material.
Pros and Cons
By now, you likely have a general idea of what the pros and cons of this website might be for you. However, let's take a look at the overall pros and cons based on what we've discussed so far.
- An interactive gaming experience that gamifies content, making learning more fun and engaging.
- Daily puzzles and problems to keep you sharp and mindful.
- Constantly updated content to assure that you are learning the latest STEM information. You won't be given outdated information.
- A convenient mobile app with both online and offline capabilities, making it easier to learn and improve wherever you are.
- Quality content brought to you by STEM professionals from around the world.
- Guided courses that make learning easier.
- They offer a free education plan for educators.
- Friendly for beginners and professionals.
- The content is limited to STEM and logic only.
- They offer no certifications or college credits. Brilliant is absolutely not accredited whatsoever.
- A monthly subscription can be expensive and an annual plan requires commitment.
Is a premium subscription worth it?
In my personal opinion, I feel that taking the leap to Brilliant premium is completely worth it if you are an inquisitive mind that looks to keep improving, are a student or professional who wants an edge, or if you are an educator looking to breathe new life into the classroom. Society is doing more and more with STEM as time goes on; Having a good foundation in these subjects is essential to thriving and succeeding in the modern world.
If you can afford a monthly subscription, it is of good value to consider using Brilliant.org. If you are willing to commit, their annual plan may be a better and more affordable fit for you. Overall, Brilliant premium is worth the time, effort, and money associated with having an account if you are looking to improve your mental performance.
If you make the jump to Brilliant premium, and for whatever reason, you decide to end your premium membership, cancellation is relatively easy. Simply go to your subscription settings page and click the ‘cancel membership' button. If you can't find it from there, you can also cancel your subscription directly from the App Store or Google Play.
Keep in mind, however, that you will not receive a refund for your subscription as per Brilliant policy. If you feel you have special circumstances or might be an exception to that rule, you can send an email to their support team.
Brilliant review summary
Brilliant is a fun, interactive learning program that focuses on STEM-related topics. It is perfect for anyone who has an interest in STEM, from beginners to professionals. Brilliant.org provides solid, quality content designed to engage its users and keep them coming back for more. Brilliant.org has a user-friendly interface that is simple to navigate and understand.
Courses are self-paced and easy to comprehend. While they do not offer certifications or college credits, they are an ideal and functional tool for students and professionals alike to have a competitive edge and stay up to date on STEM.
Brilliant.org cares for educators and offers useful tools and resources to help qualifying educators teach their classes.
Brilliant has unique features, such as a coding environment and daily puzzles and problems.
All of this and much more are available at Brilliant.org. While you have some access with a free account, you can get much more out of a premium subscription. For the best value as an individual, try the annual plan if you are ready for a commitment.
In summary, Brilliant.org is a brilliant place to learn about STEM. If you want to refresh or learn something new, you should check it out. The free version is the default, so if you like that and want more, consider upgrading to premium.