Education for Everybody editor Victor Galligan asked former YouTube vice president Matt Glotzbach about his latest venture, education app Quizlet, which is used by 1million teachers worldwide…
When and why did you become involved with Quizlet? What was your inspiration?
Throughout my career, I have been focused on building engaging technologies that solve real-world problems. I had the fortune of working on the founding team of Google Apps, including Apps for Education, where it became clear how essential technology is to education. And as a Vice President at Youtube, I further witnessed the incredible impact technology has in giving people access to tools and information for learning.
I joined Quizlet in 2016, as CEO, because I believe in our mission to help people practice and master whatever they intend to learn. I was inspired by our founder’s story, Andrew Sutherland, who invented the first iteration of Quizlet as a 15-year-old secondary school student. Andrew was studying for a French test with hundreds of words to learn, and realised there must be a more efficient way to master this vocabulary using a digital tool. Today, Andrew serves as CTO of Quizlet and our team of more than 100 people help provide a platform that strives to enhance the learning process for both students and teachers through a variety of interactive study activities.
Who is the education app aimed at in terms of age range/ability?
Quizlet is very popular with students in secondary school, but is also heavily utilised by university students and primary school students. Quizlet is also a great resource for teachers and school leaders, providing a place where they can share revision materials and track student progress. In fact, Quizlet now has over one million teachers worldwide using the platform for its activities and collaborative in-classroom game.
Quizlet has become a tool for students of all ages because it tailors to different learning styles and needs. Users can choose from activities like flashcards, writing tests with fill-in-the-blank and multiple choice, spelling with audio cues, and games like matching terms and definitions, to revise any subject they are learning. Quizlet’s AI-powered technology also provides a customised learning experience, through Quizlet Learn mode, which guides students on what areas to study depending on the user’s level of understanding, suggesting ways in which to better master a subject if the user is struggling with a specific topic. It can also plan a study program, working backwards from a test date, to help students form better revision habits.
What subjects does Quizlet cover?
There is no limit to subjects a person can study and learn on Quizlet. The platform lets users create their own study sets to match the subject matter they are learning in school, in their job or for personal development. This means anyone can create specific study materials to revise from that augment books, worksheets and other materials. And with more than 300 million user-generated study sets already on Quizlet, it’s quite easy to find a study set that already fits your needs. Over 50 million people are actively learning on Quizlet each month, studying everything from languages, science and mathematics, to photography, economics and history.
The platform also offers Premium Content, which are expert-curated revision materials made by publishers and well-known education content creators, such as Oxford University Press and Pearson, for purchase. These materials are created for learners revising for specific exams and certifications, whether it’s GCSEs, the MCAT or even the TOEFL.
Is Quizlet suitable for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities?
We periodically hear from teachers and parents that students with certain learning difficulties find Quizlet helps them engage more effectively and longer with content, and therefore helps them improve their grades. Interactive games and the ability to use different senses to revise can be helpful for people struggling to retain information in other ways. While Quizlet doesn’t currently have settings for specific learning disabilities like dyslexia, we hope to continue to find ways to serve as many learners as possible.
Do students pay for a subscription or do schools tend to cover this cost?
Quizlet is free-to-use, as our aim is to be an accessible platform for everyone. Any individual can sign up directly, and begin to study or create content right away. In addition to the free-to-use service, we do offer subscription options that allow students or teachers to add features, whether it’s further customising their content such as designing diagram images or downloading content for offline use.
What is in store for the future of Quizlet – how will the app evolve?
Quizlet will continue to provide the best free app for students to revise and master their subject matter. We believe strongly that every single person has the right to access learning resources to better their opportunities.
Supporting our growing community of users in the UK is a priority, as well as those in Europe and around the world. Quizlet is continuing to embrace partnerships with respected education content providers. And most important, we want to continue to innovate to ensure we provide the most effective and efficient learning tools available. We imagine over the next few years, actively becoming the AI-powered tutor in your pocket.
In the long term, Quizlet’s goal is to help all 1.4 billion students around the world. We hope that through proper use of technology, students of all backgrounds and abilities can receive personalised resources that will help them achieve success in their learning.
For more information, check out the education app Quizlet here.