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Excuse me while I geek out over free, game based language learning software that I can now incorporate into my classroom!

Want to learn a new language without dropping hundreds of dollars on software? Duolingo is the free, interactive app for language learning. As a game based learning strategy, you earn “XP” for each lesson you do. When it comes time to refresh those lessons, the app lets you “practice skills” so you don’t forget all the vocabulary. Set up like other social media platforms, you can follow your friends and see each other’s activity.

Perfect for travelers who want to learn a little bit of the language, but even more perfect for high school French students with smartphone addictions, Duolingo now offers a school account.

The way it works: I can set up my own duolingo account as a teacher, and then take my students to the computer lab and have them set up theirs and put them in my class. I can see all my students on one screen and see what lessons they have completed, how well they are doing with certain concepts, and the best thing–if they have done nothing at all.

Teacher dashboard in duolingo. I can see all my students and what they have accomplished (in this picture, nothing!)

Teacher dashboard in duolingo. I can see all my students and what they have accomplished (in this picture, nothing!)

Why this is so awesome: Higher ups in education love numbers and data. Data shows what the kids are learning and how well they are doing, which reflects on the student but also on the teacher. With the Duolingo for schools app, I have a hard-cold data sheet that shows exactly which kids are putting in the effort and which ones are not. So when it comes time for a test or quiz, grades will be more set-in-stone.

Teachers, what are your thoughts? Language learners, what are yours? Join in the discussion!

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