Kahoot is a new edtech company that’s leading the charge to gamify quizzes and classroom participation.
Classroom response systems are nothing new. They’ve actually been around since the 80’s but until now, they’ve been clunky and outdated. A classroom response system allows a teacher to get a bit interactive by having students participate in an interactive discussion or quiz.
Older classroom response systems were relegated to simple yes or no, or true or false questions. If you were lucky the school you went to had a classroom response system that may even allow multiple choice. Of course many schools didn’t have this type of technology at all.
Now, the classroom response system has been able to get a little more sophisticated. There are systems out there that let teachers create interactive content via a PowerPoint presentation and then have students participate with a handheld device that looks like a remote control, which is what Ombea does.
Kahoot, makes it even more fun and essentially gamifies quizzes and classroom participation by taking a gaming style approach and combining that with a drag and drop content creation platform that allows teachers to add in just about any kind of content and media that can be found on the web.
“Kahoot! is designed as a game from the bottom up. It’s multiplayer, inclusive, works on any device and focuses the social behaviours that mobile technology has created outside the classroom, inside the classroom”. Kahoot co-founder Jamie Brooker told us in an interview.
Kahoot is built on a foundation of three easy steps; Create, Launch and Play.
Teachers create their own content using the drag and drop tool. Then they launch the content on a smart board or projector. Next they have the students participate by playing the content filled game the teacher created.
One of the key differentiators between Kahoot and other classroom response systems is the ability for the students to participate on just about any device even if it’s a BYOD environment. All of this customization from the content creation tool to the fact that these interactive quizzes and games can be played on any device lends itself to unheard of engagement in the classroom.
“First and foremost it creates 100% engagement the classroom, focusing students on the content being taught, motivated through the game…. a rare, or unheard of feat! Our users find the moment they first experience it so magical that they feel compelled to share – in person, at events or across social media. Educators become the star of the show, as their students beg for more.” Brooker said.
We’ve seen quite a few classroom response systems at various ed tech conference and Kahoot definitely has all the right components for both teachers and students. We got a chance to speak with Brooker more in depth. Check out the rest of the interview below:
What does your company do?
Kahoot! is a game-based classroom response system.
Like a “Playstation for education”, Kahoot! is a game-based educational platform that leaves students begging for more. With a refreshingly new take on introducing a subject and formative assessment – through quizzing, collaboration and presentation of content – Kahoot! initiates peer-led discussions, with students left on the edge of their seats.
It ensures 100% engagement by turning the classroom into a gameshow; combining multiplayer gaming, ease-of-use and mobile technology, creating an enchanting social experience which leaves everyone totally gripped and absorbed in the subject.
Kahoot! provides deep learning through creation of educational games, and new understanding through playing them. Our game-based pedagogy takes students on a journey from “Learner to Leaders” as they create their own games for classmates to play.
The Kahoot! platform has hundreds of thousands of learning games created by other users globally, ready to be discovered and played in classrooms anywhere.
As of June 2014, 3.5M unique students have played a game of Kahoot!
Tell us about the audience/target of your technology/software/product
Educators and learners globally – school, university and business. Kahoot! really is for anyone in a setting where knowledge can be shared between those present in the same room, or by connecting over the web. You can create, discover and play with educational content suited to any subject, language, ability, age range, or anything else! It’s up to you how you use it, Kahoot! provides the framework. Kahoot! has been used in 160+ countries, by everyone from kindergarten students to executives in a boardroom, and everyone in between! We’ve seen our highest usage in K12.
What makes your product different than what is currently available?
Kahoot! is designed as a game from the bottom up. It’s multiplayer, inclusive, works on any device and focuses the social behaviours that mobile technology has created outside the classroom, inside the classroom.
First and foremost it creates 100% engagement the classroom, focusing students on the content being taught, motivated through the game…. a rare, or unheard of feat! Our users find the moment they first experience it so magical that they feel compelled to share – in person, at events or across social media. Educators become the star of the show, as their students beg for more.
Our creation tool allows you to create games of any subject, language, ability, intended audience. The games (known as Kahoots) are a framework to teach and share any content you want.
Whilst Kahoot! isn’t explicitly focused on assessment, many of our users use it to assess the current knowledge levels of their students – whether it’s a quick formative assessment, or a more in-depth review. The game elements help remove anxiety about testing in students, and allows them to relax and focus on the content.
Why did you get involved in the Ed-Tech space?
As an experience designer, I have huge desire to create positive impact on people’s lives through my work, in sectors I care about – impact is how we (designers) measure ourselves. Education is the primary sector I’ve always felt an urge to help improve – from a personal perspective based on past negative experiences, but also because of the obvious huge potential to have impact. It feels like the EdTech movement is building up momentum to help bring education up to speed with and beyond other sectors.
In the past, myself (through my role as Co-founder of We Are Human – http://wearehuman.cc/) and my fellow co-founders have helped launch new businesses and products through design thinking, and Kahoot! is us “practising what we preach” in an area we truly care about.
When the opportunity came up to explore the potential of (what is now called) Kahoot! with the Norwegian University of Technology and Science (who approached us due to our understanding of game design and expertise in launching growth businesses), we jumped at it because of our passion for the education space. We ended up co-founding Kahoot! with a number of other clever people (mentioned in ‘team’ section), and here we are today.
Tell us about your team and their backgrounds
Alf Inge Wang is a Professor in Game Technology at the Norwegian University of Technology & Science (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway. He invented and extensively researched the multiplayer games you see in Kahoot! (at the time called LectureQuiz) after identifying a need for it in his own lectures. Thus proving it increases engagement and performance of students over a sustained period of time (more here: http://blog.getkahoot.com/
Morten Versvik worked with Alf Inge during his Masters project at NTNU, inventing the technical platform which powers Kahoot! Morten is our Chief Technical Officer, in charge of the backend platform – helping us scale usage globally, whilst also hacking together new concepts for future research and development.
Before launching Kahoot!, Johan Brand and Jamie Brooker Co-founded London based We Are Human – helping startups launch and established businesses release new products, through design thinking; everything from branding to business model to to user experience to user interface. They’ve taken this thinking into Kahoot!, with Johan leading the product strategy/vision and developing partnerships, and Jamie leading the product design and user engagement.
Åsmund Furuseth is our CEO, with a background in launching startups from a number of sectors. In Kahoot!, he’s focused on raising finance and business development, as well as analysing user engagement metrics, mapping out business objectives.
George Agnelli is Kahoot!’s Lead developer. A designer turned developer, George has a wealth of experience running his own software development business in London, and is in charge of our front-end architecture, as well the underlying data and analytics.
What is the next step? What do your current goals look like?
Our focus is on creating the ultimate game-based learning platform through mobile and social technology, providing:
– A range of a games which are, multiplayer social, playful and centred around knowledge
– A suite of dynamic tools for formative assessment to make more efficient use of valuable time in the classroom
– Playful, curriculum aligned content in any subject, topic, ability and age range
– Increased collaboration between educators and learners globally, through the creation of personalised educational content
Where can people find out more (make sure to include all of your web sites, social channels and app download links)
Our website (sign up in 30 seconds!) – https://getkahoot.com/
Our user guide – http://blog.getkahoot.com/
Our blog (full of tutorials and stories) – http://blog.getkahoot.com/
Our Twitter – https://twitter.com/getkahoot
Our favourite Tweets in a curated list – https://twitter.com/GetKahoot/