Age of Learning CEO, Former NeoPets CEO
About Doug Dohring
Doug Dohring launched the multi-award-winning ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy in 2010, which now provides over 8,500 educational activities to children ages 2 - 8+. ABCmouse.com is also used free of charge in tens of thousands of classrooms nationwide. ABCmouse is now also available on iOS and Android tablet and phone apps, and over 2 billion learning activities have been completed on ABCmouse.com to date. Learn how Age of Learning is promoting early learning excellence for all with Age of Learning Education Access Initiatives.
Age of Learning's Education Access Initiatives offer teachers, libraries, community centers, housing authorities and other community organizations Age of Learning supports the Invest In US initiative by committing to "provide ABCmouse.com for free to every preschool, Head Start, and kindergarten classroom in the U.S. over the next two years, with a value expected to exceed $10 million." And Age of Learning recently partnered with the ConnectHome initiative to "make its award-winning ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy curriculum available for free to families living in public housing in 27 cities and one tribal nation, serving up to 65,000 children ages 2 – 8 each year."
In 2016, Doug Dohring and Age of Learning launched a new solution to meet the needs of schools, school districts, and school groups in the US and internationally: ABCmouse for Schools. ABCmouse for Schools provides scalable tools and resources to implement and manage ABCmouse across an entire school district or group of schools, partnering with schools to ensure fidelity of implementation, so each teacher can successfully integrate ABCmouse into his or her teaching day. Services include systematic onboarding and implementation, ongoing usage reports and training to improve teaching and student results, teacher support, and enterprise support for IT and school leadership to help ensure overall program success throughout the district or group.
Prior to Age of Learning and ABCmouse, Doug Dohring was chairman and CEO of NeoPets, Inc. At NeoPets Doug Dohring created a new way of monetizing websites through advertising. In the early and mid-2000s, when NeoPets was building its website into the internet’s top destination based on time spent per user and number of page views per user, online advertising came primarily in the form of pop-up and banner ads. Doug Dohring felt that those methods of advertising compromised the user experience, especially for children. Providing a good user experience was crucial to NeoPets’ success, so Doug Dohring and his team invented “Immersive Advertising,” an advertising method that integrates advertising organically and directly into a site’s content.
Immersive Advertising appealed to many companies looking to reach NeoPets’ audience of tweens and teens. In one case, The Walt Disney Company advertised its film releases through a true-to-life animated version of its famous El Capitan Theatre. NeoPets users could enter the virtual theater, which was accurate down to the concession stand and interior decoration. Inside the theater, a trailer for a Disney movie would play, and often a game based on the film would allow users to interact with movie-related content. Creating authentic Disney experiences for NeoPets users, required a very close working partnership between Disney and Neopets animators. This level of collaboration between Disney and an outside company was unprecedented.
During his time at the helm of NeoPets, Doug Dohring realized that he wanted to use his experience creating engaging online platforms for kids to promote education and help children gain the confidence they need to succeed in the classroom. NeoPets, however, was not the right platform to realize this dream because of its focus on entertainment.
Doug Dohring sold the company in 2005 to MTV Networks, a division of Viacom, and after completing an 18-month management transition, he founded Age of Learning in 2007 with the goal of using the internet to help kids become confident and effective learners.