Blocking the discussion area
I was looking at Duolingo for use in an elementary school and decided against it for a variety of reasons. For one, our K-2 students don't read well enough to use it. The second, and much bigger, issue is the discussion area. Unless that can be blocked I would never consider making Duolingo available in an elementary school, and may even use my content filter to block it. Has this ever been considered? Thank you.
Duolingo is a pretty tame community I would not worry about it too much. But I do notice quite a few comments that look like they are made by children probably being forced to use duolingo. So your blocking idea might be more useful to protect the duolingo community from unmotivated kids.
Yes, agreed. And I add: I think many of us (well, myself at least) assume that a commenter is an adult, unless it's obvious that it's not. Not that I write anything inappropriate, but discussing something with a child is different than discussing something with an adult. Therefore, I think there should be some kind of way to have (separate) adult accounts and child accounts. What age divides the two I leave to others with more expertise in child development.
A possible solution...
I am a high school teacher and use Duolingo in my classroom. I use it in my Spanish 2 and 3 classes for a long-running extra credit project. The kids love it and take advantage of what it offers. I encourage its voluntary use with my IB Spanish Junior and Senior classes. I just ask the kids to find and follow/friend me on it and can easily keep track. I have no worries for the older kids, but share some reservations about it for the younger ones.
Would it be possible to, as it asks for birthday during the sign-up process, restrict access to comments for those under 16 or 18? This would be as much to protect a quality community from them as to protect them. In addition, I have no qualms about references to beer and wine, but I know that some Lower and Middle School teachers do, could a tiered system simply cut out those few lessons?
I understand your concern especially for children this young. I have not seen any announcement by the DL team about school/teacher accounts, but related things have been asked before. So I am assuming it is not on their priority list right now (otherwise they might have announced it), but I might be wrong. If someone has seen anything official by the DL team on this please feel free to correct me.