Duolingo student safety?
I am trying to use this in my Spanish elementary schools. Does anyone have any suggestions, potential risks, or safety concerns, I should look out for?
The Moderators are pretty quick to remove offense posts, but you should report them if you see any. I've noticed that some younger users provide too much personal detail in their posts, but the best way to deal with that is to emphasize that Duolingo is NOT a social media site. The Discussion Forum is for questions and discussion about learning languages in general, and specific languages as well -- NOT for chatting with friends during class, or begging for lingots, or announcing how much the student hates _ language, etc.
If you see something offensive that they haven't noticed, send them an email at email@example.com. They generally aren't speedy in addressing spam, so those posts attract a lot of down votes. Your students may just be trying to be friendly ("Hi, I'm John Doe and I'm learning Spanish. Will you be my friend?") and may become upset when their innocent post attracts double-digit negative votes. The reason -- again -- is that no matter how much they may want to use Duolingo as a social media site, that's not what it's for.
I am using Duolingo with my third graders. I set up their accounts using +1 with my gmail address, I created their usernames and passwords. Then I went in to the setting for each student and unsubscribed from discussions and notifications. I feel better about being in control of their accounts. Then we talk about the "invite friends" option and not to use it unless they have permission from their parents or myself. Since I have access to their account information, I can also go into their accounts and make modifications to their settings if necessary. Some of my students set up their own accounts at home with parents, for those accounts all I can do is advise the parents to monitor their child's account.