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The Global Search for Education: Let’s Play!

June 1, 2020
In an interview with C.M. Rubin, Founder of CMRubinWorld, Head of Marketing from Norwegian-based Kahoot!, Sean D’Arcy, discusses the future of game-based learning in classrooms. Using digital game-based learning is […]

In an interview with C.M. Rubin, Founder of CMRubinWorld, Head of Marketing from Norwegian-based Kahoot!, Sean D’Arcy, discusses the future of game-based learning in classrooms. Using digital game-based learning is on the rise in schools and learning organizations globally. Kahoot! currently has over 2 billion players, according to D’Arcy — including teachers, students, parents, and even corporate users. With over 60 million interactive games, the platform has developed the nickname, "The Netflix of Education."

Kahoot is a game-based learning platform that makes it easy to create, share and play fun learning games or trivia quizzes. Kahoot! is used in a variety of settings: in corporate offices, social settings, major sporting and cultural events, and in K-12 and university classrooms. In 2018, Kahoot! had over one billion participating players in more than 200 countries. Launched in 2013, the company is headquartered in Norway with offices in the US and the UK.

Kahoot’s journey began in 2012, when founders Morten Versvik, Johan Brand, and Jamie Brooker, along with Norwegian gaming professor Alf Inge Wang and entrepreneur Åsmund Furuseth, put their heads together to innovate the notion of fun learning. The founders, according to Sean D’Arcy, the head of Marketing, felt that most learning in education systems lacked "the playfulness factor." Hence, they wanted to create a game-based product that would make learning "a more social, playful and engaging experience."

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In March 2013, Kahoot! was launched and became available to the public. Since then, the company has been focusing on turning game-based learning into a pop culture phenomenon. Today the platform has over 2 billion players participating in more than 200 countries.

The Global Search for Education invited Kahoot’s Head of Marketing, Sean D’Arcy, to learn more about the company’s journey to engage learners around the world.

Sean, Kahoot! has described itself as the "Netflix of Education." Tell us where you see the parallel?

With the launch of our Kahoot! Ignite accelerator program, we are assembling a diverse family of apps to join us on our journey to make learning awesome. Recently, we announced the acquisitions of DragonBox, which helps kids learn math, and Poio, which facilitates children’s ability to read.

In the future, we will bring similar apps and products under Kahoot!, making it a trusted source for premium educational content for schools and teachers, parents and organizations. We already have over 60 million games on the Kahoot! platform, most of which are user-generated, and we want to encourage content makers to create more content in different formats — which is similar to Netflix’s model. … We are in the midst of an industrial revolution that is changing our world at dramatic speeds — technology is helping to create hundreds of new, innovative models of learning.

Technology continues to expand its role in traditional learning environments particularly for brands that understand the needs of the end consumer – do you believe we will see a learning shift to online/interactive environments any time soon?

Technology is becoming more and more important in 21st century classrooms, where students can learn from anywhere at any time and have access to the world’s information. In the future, traditional classrooms will continue to exist, but they will be supported with the use of interactive and social learning environments so that they can accommodate all kinds of learners and make learning a fun, gamified experience.

Kahoot! is special and will continue to thrive because it makes learning awesome and dynamic. … Our easy to use format and accessibility have helped us become one of the fastest growing learning brands with over 2 billion players since 2013.

What are the important lessons Kahoot! has learned from educators so far?

In the education world, we have learned that community is incredibly important!  … With our new creators, users can create kahoots more easily and 3x faster than before, and they will have newer formats to present and play Kahoot! We are really proud of this collaborative effort within our community.

We are also proud to have more than 5 million teachers, hundreds of millions of students, 5 million parents, and 20 million corporate, users of our platform without any advertising or marketing budgets but just through word of mouth and pure virality of the product.

What are you working now for the future?

Kahoot! is building the leading learning platform in the world by assembling a dynamic family of learning apps and products. … In the future, Kahoot!’s offerings will be split in the following groups: Kahoot! at school, Kahoot! at home and Kahoot! at work. We will go beyond the classic Kahoot format and offer many other ways to play and more content that make learning awesome!

Read the full article here.

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About the Author: C. M. Rubin (Cathy) is the Founder of CMRubinWorld, an online publishing company focused on the future of global learning, and the co-founder of Planet Classroom. She is the author of 3 best-selling books and 2 widely read online series. Rubin received 3 Upton Sinclair Awards for "The Global Search for Education". The series, which advocates for all learners, was launched in 2010 and brings together distinguished thought leaders from around the world to explore the key education issues faced by nations. For more information, please visit and Follow C. M. Rubin on Twitter

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