Volunteering Program - kids don't have email addresses.

Hey everyone

I am part of a volunteering program in an improverished part of nicragua.

We were asked to give some English lessons and when we showed them duolingo at their local computer library they really enjoyed it and excelled really quickly.

The problem we encountered is that the only way we can save their progress is by signing up an account. However the kids don't have email addresses, signing them all up takes a lot of time and rarely will they ever remember it.

It got me thinking that a much better system would be for the teacher to own the account with one email address. And each of the kids signs in with just their name. This seems like a much better system and could really help the kids.

Unfortunately there is no contact information for duolingo so I cannot share this information with them. But I hated the idea of no reaching out for advice on this because I know if they could solve this small problem it would make such a huge difference within this community and for sure all over the world.

Elliott Rayner

GrinCamp Nicaragua

July 27, 2017


They can get free email addresses from lots of places and if you are concerned that they will forget it, you as the teacher could supervise the process and make a record of their addresses.

July 27, 2017

This is of course possible but still not a perfect solution. You have to keep in mind that in these communities that if if you even make things 1% simpler it makes a huge difference. These throw away email addresses of kids have zero value to duolingo as a company. Moving the focus to the teacher would be a small change and could have a huge impact for poor communities.

July 27, 2017

But it is a case of allocation of development resources to make what would be a major change when a simple solution would not need any development resources.

July 27, 2017

Does Duolingo actually check the email addresses nowadays? They did not use to. I remember signing up with a fictive address.

July 27, 2017

I don't think it does but a valid email address would be useful in case the students forget their passwords.

July 27, 2017

Hi Elliott Rayner. I don't have a solution for your problem, but I just want to tell you that I think you are awesome for doing this. I really hope you find a way to accomplish this. Good luck.


July 27, 2017
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