Modern mobile technologies now have the ability to facilitate active exploration by learners of all age (Power, R. 2013).
The Duolingo app is a useful resource. I download the android version and evaluated it using the CSAM framework, below are my findings:
Collaborative – learners have an opportunity to participate in a number of activities individually and collectively. Based on given instructions from the teacher, the students can compete with each other in peered activities that will foster their understanding of the language being taught and develop proper pronunciation and listening skills.
Situated – have learners migrate to a resource room that is decorated and labelled in a way that reflects a country that speaks the language of focus (e.g. France – French).
Active – within the resource room, students will be encouraged to speak only French (short sentences/phrases), to communicate with each other and the teacher. All questions and instructions will be given in French and through the usage of their app. interpretations can be obtained to gain clarity of unsure words, phrases or sentences. Assistance can also be obtained in providing responses when faced with uncertainty.
Mobile – the app. version contains high quality content and facilitates holistic interaction. Being mobile allows learners to practice, compete and engage on the go within and outside of their regular classroom settings.
Other criteria that I would use when critically evaluating such digital resources would be time and interest. The allotted time spent on this app must be managed properly so that students do not over indulge and allow other subject areas suffer by this focus. Observing and engaging the students will allow me to determine their level of interest (as it peeks or drops). Being aware of how interested the students are in all the activities, will also allow me to determine the amount of time that should be allotted.
Power, R. (2013). Collaborative Situated Active Mobile (CSAM) learning strategies: a new perspective on effective mobile learning. Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives, 10(2). https://doi.org/10.18538/lthe.v10.n2.137