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29 Jan 2016

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Kahoot! hero spotlight: adapting Kahoot! for Special Educational Needs

Kahoot!’ers! Meet Dani Kennis. A Social Studies teacher to 9th and 10th grade students with special education needs at Clarkstown High School South in New York, she’s an awesome advocate for smart edtech. Today we’re taking a look at how she adapts Kahoot! for SEN…

Recently our very own USA Community Evangelist @KahootDaniella got to chat with Dani Kennis and get the inside scoop on how she adapted Kahoot! to her special education classroom, and why it’s become a mainstay of her lesson plan.

Kahoot hero, Dani Kennis

Dani’s classroom is unique in that many of her students are on the Autism spectrum or have behavioral disabilities, and every student has an individualized education plan.

A snapshot into a good day with her students is one where everyone is excited, happy, engaged, and connected to each other with group learning. Some days, though, can be particularly hard for them, and motivation is just a little harder to muster up in class.


“When they play Kahoot!, this melts away - they can forget their issues and can enjoy simply being kids.”

From Dani’s perspective, introducing Kahoot! changed the landscape of the classroom – it was their “gateway” to education technology. Now, armed with 1:1 devices, her students are navigating a whole new world of exciting learning opportunities, and they couldn’t be happier.

How Dani adapts Kahoot! for SEN:

Like many SEN teachers Dani is like a master tailor, adapting her approach to suit her students’ needs. And with Kahoot! it’s no different – here are a few things she and her colleagues find work well when using Kahoot! with SEN students:

  • Breaking up complex questions into smaller, more digestible parts
  • Allowing more time per question – in general, she sets the timer for at least 40 seconds to give everyone time to read the question and answers
  • Adding pictures and videos to help more visual learners and to keep players captivated and focused on the game in play

For Dani’s students, the Kahoot! music is an important part of the experience too –


“When they hear the sound they know it’s Kahoot! time. It’s a familiar trigger that breeds excitement and positive emotions. They love the sensory experience of touching the screen and different colors.”

We were incredibly moved to hear about the impact that Kahoot! has had in Dani’s classroom, and how her students feel playing learning games. Being part of stories like this is just incredible – it’s the reason we work so hard on accessibility, improvements to the platform and inspiring ways to play.

Thanks again to Dani Kennis for sharing her experiences and Kahoot! tips with us!

Do you have any tips for using Kahoot! for students with special education needs?

Please go ahead and share your stories and tips with other teachers on our Facebook Community.

And if you’re using Kahoot! in creative ways, or would like to nominate an amazing teacher for our next “Spotlight on…” interview, get in touch @GetKahoot!