Just navigating through several possibilities of engaging my students. I would really love to see that I am actively involve in teaching and learning activities on such an educative platform as this. Kudos to Duo!
Timilehin, my colleague said "It's like trying to drink from a fire hose." We are reinventing the wheel nowadays, aren't we? And it has been so amazingly difficult.
I will tell you why I use Duolingo. (And I have used it for years)
It really does feel like a game. ANYTHING that gets the students engaged is a "win."
It is free.
There are other free programs out there, that are perfectly fine. Memrize and Mango languages are my other two favorites. But Duolingo lets me track my students' progress.
Duolingo lets me give targeted assignments. We can work on skills or units that correlate to the textbook. At the moment, I am just letting the students gather XP, to keep their stress levels down. They can work on whatever they want, just as long as they use Duolingo one time a day.
I adore Duolingo Stories and Duolingo Tinycards. Reading is the single best way to remember vocabulary. Tinycards lets me drill down on crucial skills that need to be practiced in isolation.
The Duolingo Educator's Network is the very best professional community that I belong to. https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/32159789 We bounce ideas off of each other, learn new techniques, and they have been a lifeline during all this craziness.
Duolingo, at the end of the day, is a tool. It is not the be-all-end-all; your students still need you to teach. But it is a very good tool that I am very happy to be using, and very proud to be involved in the Educator's Network.
We are all in this together, Timilehin! Keep posting your questions, and we will try to help you out.
I guess I should also explain concretely how I use Duo. This is my student's typical assignment:
One time a day on Duolingo, their choice.
One deck of Tinycards that I have created. Students send me a screenshot when it is golden.
Either a Duolingo Story that I have chosen, or I read them a story, and then have them do something goofy at the end (a drawing, add a line of dialogue, add a character...)
An art project or a recipe that students have to read and then create, and take a picture for me.
Watch a silly cat video that I post (or whatever), and listen to one of my favorite songs.
Maybe I make a Microsoft Form about something.
Check in with me at the appointed time. I hate that the students are all muted during our video conferencing; it's a language class and I want them to speak. We have been playing games on an interactive Whiteboard. My school used Microsoft Teams, so creating breakout rooms is immensely clunky, but I am considering it. I also plan to revisit Flipgrid, which I tried several years ago but didn't like. Times change!
Please add ideas that you have or you have heard for keeping students engaged!