https://www.duolingo.com/Bob20020

Questions about Pearson's involvement

Bob20020
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If they're just looking for a tool, why don't they just use Duolingo? To get more money by people using their website? Why must there be a Duo-Replica?

Is Duolingo staff helping make this possible by creating the courses for Pearson?

Please stop downvoting. These are honest questions I have.

1 year ago

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/garpike
garpike
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They want the Duolingo format, but with their own content, thereby (they think) improving the efficacy of their products, which in turn makes them worth more, more competitive and thus more profitable. For this, they are presumably paying a sum of money that both parties think is worth their while. This does not seem to me very difficult to understand.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luis
LuisPlus
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Hi, thanks for asking this!

The way the partnership works is that people who buy certain Pearson books will have access to an extra course on Duolingo that is aligned to these books. The reason this is attractive to Pearson is that the standard Duolingo courses teach concepts in a different order than their books, so it was hard for instructors to use Duolingo in conjunction with their books.

The courses are being made by Pearson through the Incubator. Pearson is paying Duolingo for this, which will help us break even and continue providing the website and apps free to everybody.

It's important to mention that this will not affect anybody who uses our standard courses, and that we have no plans to start charging for them.

--Luis (CEO of Duolingo)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/leArzt
leArzt
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Gracias Luis por aclarar esto, siempre hablas con pasión sobre lo noble y necesario que es la educación gratis para todos sin importar su nivel socio-económico, y se que siempre te vas a apegar a tus valores. Muchas gracias por Duolingo, sin gastar un centavo logré aprender Alemán gracias a ti.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anomalousjack

So why would Pearson use the Duo platform?

Surely, a company like Pearson doesn't need to 'rent' space here: they could easily set up a server of their own, and use the Duo model as a guide (it's not exactly a copyrightable concept after all). So what is the attraction of Duo to a corporation like Pearson. Is it Duo's ideals? The idea of free education for all? Or is it the 110m users, a potentially huge customer base for their existing products and perhaps for a future premium paid-for service similar to or (as I would guess) offered directly through the Duo window? Something that is not viable at present under the Pearson brand since many features here still need improvement. Which is where the user comes in.

The main attraction for the average Duo user is that it is free. For that, users here are willing to put up with a few shortcomings and generally help in improving the platform through their feedback and real-time user experience. Strong support material is one thing Duo could offer (so, luckily, Pearson do that very well), as is decent audio (an absolute necessity for any serious language teaching app). Why hold back on these things now, something that would make Duo a product without rival in its field? Why not when you have a hunch that vast swathes of current users wouldn’t mind paying a little a month for a quality, finished product like that if they could afford it - a product tried and tested by 110m real-time users! A Duolingo Plus perhaps? I have no doubts, as per Duo’s mission statement, the ‘basic’ entry level courses will indeed remain free, but what form will they take?

The Duo/Pearson deal is good for both sides and good for the app. But how well it will sit with the original Duo ideal is more difficult to predict. I do remember something being said about ‘no ads’ once: now that’s a bold statement to make, and something far easier said than done.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luis
LuisPlus
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Contrary to what you may think, developing a platform like Duolingo takes a lot of effort and engineering time. That's what Pearson is attracted to.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anomalousjack

I certainly don't think anything like that. And that's exactly my point. It makes far better sense for Pearson to move onto a platform like Duo that's well-developed - especially one with such an impressive subscriber base - rather than start one of their own from scratch.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bob20020
Bob20020
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Thank you Luis! Clarifies a lot of the confusion. Seems this partnership is a great thing for Duolingo.

Question..... how many lingots do you have?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/p_genot
p_genot
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That is a really pertinent question, but it immediately reminded me of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf3xwmXXDH8

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anomalousjack

I have never believed that Duo is free, despite Duo's mission statement to the contrary. Users are beta-testing a product - ironing out the glitches, flagging the shortcomings etc - for what will one day (sooner rather than later it seems now Pearson are involved) become a very marketable subscription-based product. Certain elements that are essential for a marketable language product (the support notes for instance) have never been fully developed or are grossly substandard (ie. audio) in Duo. Only a major player like Pearson has the capital to invest to make this product complete. Once it is near completion, I imagine it will quickly become a 'free for basic/subscription for premium' product, or else floated on the markets - much like other similar once-free products have become.

Are Duo staff helping make this possible and not spending their time improving the features here, and while volunteers develop courses? That's difficult to say. As difficult as it is to guess who might be downvoting your very valid question about the Duo/Pearson partnership. However, now might be a very good time to think about completing any trees you are serious about finishing - if you prefer the subscription-free option that is.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luis
LuisPlus
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I am the CEO of Duolingo and I can tell you that this is absolutely not our plan. We've been at this for 5 years, and I assure you that if this was our plan we would've run out of patience to start charging a long time ago.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zerr_
Zerr_
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May I ask why you reply to this comment and not a single one of the other questions in this thread or any of the plentiful other threads on this topic?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TimmohB

Pretty sure they just want to use Duolingo as a platform to accompany their textbooks, to fit their curriculum, I don't see a problem...

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gatiquo
gatiquo
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I thought the same, why not just tell students to use Duolingo?

1 year ago
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