- Active, not passive. Instead of falling asleep while listening to a monotone lecture, Duolingo users learn by doing. Daydreaming is impossible in a context where you're required to interact to move forward.
- Personalized. Because users learn by answering exercises every step of the way, we get a signal about how well they're learning. For example, we can tell if somebody always messes up verb conjugations in the past tense, if they can read but not understand the spoken language, or even if every time they see the word for "chicken" they take an extra 500 milliseconds to answer. We use all of this information (from more than 6 billion exercises per month) to generate unique lessons for each user.
- Fun. Duolingo was designed to feel like a game from the very start. Students have to pass levels in order to unlock new skills, they can earn virtual currency to "buy" virtual goods, etc. MOOCs typically have horrible retention rates, whereas Duolingo doesn't, and it's largely because people like playing games.
A: I'm not a believer in MOOCs but the way people "prove" their education is definitely going to change. This is one of the things we thought about when we decided to launch to allow people to boost their resumes with a low-cost, 20-minute English exam that can be taken from anywhere.
A: It's an excellent school for computer science and technology in general, and therefore it's very nerdy. There is also a huge emphasis on practical skills, which makes CMU graduates be pretty ready for jobs. While at Google and at Duolingo, I've hired a number of fresh grads from top engineering schools, and it's always amazing how CMU grads are always ready out of the box, whereas those from other schools need a few months to get up to speed.
- Teaching: What is it like to balance running a tech company and actively teaching at a university? Are there any tips that help?
- Translations: Why has Duolingo moved from translation to certification for monetizing?
- Startups: Is raising money for a startup harder outside Silicon Valley? Why or why not?
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place