Duolingo for Schools
Earlier this month Duolingo announced a new platform specifically designed for educators who want to use the tool in their classrooms. Since this announcement happened to coincide with my own efforts to jumpstart my use of Duolingo to practice my language skills, I thought it was worth checking out this new platform, called Duolingo for Schools, so I could see how it worked.
Rather than a separate system, Duolingo for Schools is more of an analytics layer that is placed on top of an already existing Duolingo account. Anyone with a Duolingo account can go to Duolingo for Schools to create their own “school.” This creates a unique link that can be shared with other Duolingo users. If those users click on the link and accept, their information will be added to your Duolingo for Schools dashboard. This gives teachers the ability to see all of their students’ progress on a single dashboard. The dashboard defaults to the current week, but you can also look back in time at students’ earlier work as well. On the dashboard, you will see the student’s information (including email, though I have redacted that from the image below), which skills they have learned, and how many XP points they have learned.
One of the nice features of this system is that students can be invited to join a class after they have already started using Duolingo and all of their past information will be pulled into the dashboard. However, the flip side of this advantage is that teachers do not have the ability to set up students’ accounts for them, for example selecting a language for them or requiring them to take a placement test rather than starting at the first lesson. This is ultimately a minor issue though, especially for teachers who have already been using Duolingo in their classes. While I don’t think that Duolingo can replace all of a class’ existing resources and assignments, I think that it could be a nice complement to existing tools and this dashboard will make it much easier for teachers to use it in this way.