Can a teacher use this for a classroom?
I am interested to find out if there is a teacher option on the site where I could follow the progress of my students.
I am also interested. I have grades 3-5. Two suggestions off the bat: Provide teachers access to the content and allow them to toggle on/off some content that may prevent teachers from getting permission to use Duolingo. Such as references to beer and wine - 3rd grade might be a bit young.
The more visual the language the better. Perhaps the "peeks" can have images or animated actions.
Hope to hear from you.
I hope this discussion (being 3 months old now) is not dead or forgotten about. A lot of very valid points have been made here. Like one or two other participants, I am also a teacher currently using Duolingo with my students. This works in the private school I currently work in because of our tiny classes, every student having a computer in class, and our school not issuing grades (yes, no grades!:-). My students love it. In a typical school setting, however, where I would have some 150 students, where computers would not be available in the classroom except maybe once a month, and everybody from principal, through assistant principals, through parents to students (yes, even students!) would be breathing down my neck and making me produce several grades per week (mostly homework and classwork, but also a quiz or test every few weeks), I have difficulty seeing how I could replace boring work sheets and textbooks with Duolingo unless I have easy access to measurable student progress and effort. Currently, I can look up my students' current levels and "coin"-points (how do they relate to each other???), points earned that week, and units touched versus completed one student at a time. No teacher straddled with 150 students has the time for this. Also, with students not having computers in class, I could only hope that my students are affluent enough to have a computer at home. That would make their individual work on Duolingo into nothing more than homework however. At the very least I should be able to reward students who study on Duolingo at home with homework credits. -- The dilemma we have with grading taking the fun out of learning is not a problem specific to Duolongo. It is a problem with out educational model. Classes should all be voluntary electives, if you ask me, without grades. However, as long as we have to put up with this messed up school system, I would still love to have the option to offer my students a Duolingo-based course than the tired old page turning and lecturing type of class, once I may find myself back in a school with huge classes, no computers, and that awful pressure to grade everyone. I just tried to extract the stats I can see the students I follow into a spread sheet. It was tedious work with just a handful of students, and I am not even sure I know how to read all the status displays so I could give students proper credit for their effort and/or progress. Maybe I could use completed units as milestones for completed work (but since units are bigger than lessons they exceed the acceptable size for homework, and completed lessons I can't count based on that graphic unit progress bar). Maybe I could even use levels as milestones. The "points added this week" stat is very tempting as a weekly project to ask students to accumulate a minimum amount of points per week for a homework grade (or classwork grade - if computers are available at school), but I am not sure how these points work and how they may vary. Likewise, what is the "words" stat really saying? There is a lot of potential here once the stats are better explained, accessible in bulk, and exportable to spreadsheets format. Another need, of course, is to be able to group students by the class they are in (and be able to re-assign them if they are transferred between classes).
If tylrmurphy or someone else at Duolingo wishes to contact me for figuring out how to make this work, I will be more than happy to assist.
I doubt this is a good idea—right now, everyone who's here wants to be here.
Also, if I were in your students' position, I would be a lot more uneasy knowing an adult I know is watching my every move with a clipboard. I'd also be afraid to translate fun, but slightly inappropriate articles. Many kids would purposely avoid advancing too fast and try matching pace with the crowd—essentially a "lowest common denominator effect"(I'm a highschooler, I know). In addition, now that the goal is getting a letter rather than learning a language, this would open the door for cheating.
I'm sorry, but there's two ways to get kids to hate something. One is to make them analyze it and write a paper on it.
The other is to collect data on them doing it and keep it in a permanent Infinite Campus database where both the school and parents can see it, and breathe down their necks on their home turf(the Internet)—exactly what you're planning to do.
I would rather have a teacher keeping track of my Duolingo progress, than keeping track of worksheets I've done out of a book ;).
I agree that our current school system often confines students to learning specific things at a specific rate, and it can make them feel stressed and powerless. But I think online systems like Duolingo, the Khan Academy, and Codecademy can give students more empowerment than they had before.
I would agree that if you're trying to learn a language, Duolingo is better than worksheets.
However, I'm talking about the difference between "constructified"* Duolingo and free Duolingo. I think it's a bad idea for teachers to assign Duolingo as homework—a better approach is to point students to the website for extra practice and not interfere or spy on them after that. That way students will use the site because it's fun and it'll help them learn language(s), instead of aiming for a letter.
To Constructify—verb—To make constructive—a good faith effort that winds up ruining something fun. Extremely prevalent in the school system.
My students (just a few) are learning voluntary, because I am taking them to the Dominican Republic next summer and they really want to be able to communicate a bit with the local people. In my situation I think it's helpful if I see their progress on Duolingo. For regular school situations I share your concerns.
I am currently trilaing Duolingo with a few of my Spanish students in the UK and find it to be great. I would be really interested in Duolingo going into school based education (as well as the great product it is now). There is so much potential and my students love it. I would be very interested in helping to develop it further too!
I am a bilingual education elementary teacher and I think duolingo may help my newcomers to learn English. My concerns are these: are the concepts and sentences that are asked age appropriate? (I just translated a sentence that read "Drink more wine.") What about interactions with strangers in the Discussion Section? Is this monitored at all? I would like to incorporate duolingo in my bilingual classroom next year, I also think I could encourage parents to learn English using your software.
I have all students in my language program to send me an email with their user name and I add them as a friend so that I can check their progress level. I would love to see if I could incorporate this into my curriculum for my department and into our language lab with our listening devices. Feel free to contact as a testing site as well.