Speaking at the Re/code Code/Mobile conference , Duolingo CEO Luis von Ahn revealed the company is working on a Windows Phone app for release soon.
Von Ahn joked that while it might not sound like a big deal to the audience at Code/Mobile, it is a huge deal for Duolingo users in developing countries where Windows Phone is the second-biggest platform behind Android.
Duolingo’s language tuition software is surprisingly advanced.
Duolingo breaks up lessons into bite-size exercises that makes learning more like a game and less like a chore.
The company can monitor when users might be having problems with a concept, and conduct tests to see when it’s best to introduce a lesson. If the app detects that the user is taking a long time to answer, Duolingo might serve up an easier question the next time. Or the company can tap user data to figure out, for example, if it’s better to introduce plurals in the Spanish language lessons earlier in the learning process or later.
The company’s product is free, making its money by translating documents for CNN using the input from a large number of students, much like Recaptcha deciphered scanned documents.
von Ahn notes, “But we’re not trying to sell you anything. We’re just using that data to figure out the best way to teach you. Within a few hours, we can actually figure out if it’s better to teach plurals later or earlier. That is something that in the offline education system would have taken 15 years to figure out just because the iteration speed is so slow.”
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