Today's tech snack can be found at the following url: https://www.duolingo.com/
What is duolingo?
Duolingo is an online tool that helps students learn and practice a new language. Using duolingo, students can practice and learn up to eight different languages. Students can pick any of the following languages to learn:Spanish, Danish, Irish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese and Dutch ( from the Netherlands). Using this program, students learn content through brain based games. Students learn how to read, listen and write words in the particular language that they picked. Click on the link below to learn more about how duolingo works and functions:
More Nitty Gritty about duolingo
Since duolingo is a tool that adapts to the individual student's mastery level, students will need to create a free account on duolingo, which will require a username and password to access. After you create an account, you will be asked what language you would like to learn. Then you will be given the option to start at the first level of the program or to take a placement test to determine where you will start on the program. (The placement test option is good for students who already have some knowledge of the language so that they are starting the program at the appropriate level.)
One can see that Duolingo lends itself perfectly to the blended learning/flipped classroom. The content on duolingo correlates perfectly with content that is typically taught in a traditional brick and mortar class. Students have control over the pace of their learning since duolingo is online and they can have 24 hour access to it. This allows teachers to repurpose their classroom lessons. For example, a teacher wouldn't have to spend as much time on vocabulary word memorization activities, if students are using duolingo to help master vocabulary. Teachers, could then spend more time on comprehension and communication activities. Teachers could have students use duolingo as a good practicing, and enrichment activity. Students can also use the immersion section to check their own written documents. Teachers could require students to print out their weekly duolingo reports so that they can see where a student may be struggling or thriving and adapt their in-class lessons accordingly.
Since Duolingo requires a username and password to track progress, this would not be a tool I would recommend with the younger elementary school grades. However, this tool could be used with students in grades 4th-12th, with the younger students recieving more support from the teacher. (Younger students may benefit from a rotation system where they use duolingo during their in class foreign language sessions.)
Yummy, a tech snack that is mulitfacet, free and supported by brain based research! I want seconds please! Until we meet again at the café.