Learning by Doing is Fastest Learning
Just a quick post because I saw this headline:
Study: Learning Spanish With Duolingo Can Be More Effective Than College Classes Or Rosetta Stone [TechCrunch article]
If you don't know the background behind Doulingo, I've posted about them before. You learn Spanish by translating web pages with help from the system. Meanwhile, Doulingo sells the translation services to fund your Spanish lessons. It is a brilliant win-win, and an excellent example of how things can click to the next level.
When you look at it from a traditional educational model, the efficiency and savings here are astounding. Instead of paying instructors to carefully construct textbooks and lessons to teach students Spanish, the students get to work on real, contemporary text and learn relevant and useful translation techniques. Rather than book learning and memorization, Doulingo students develop skills immediately by practicing -- with real text.
And students get the satisfaction of contributing to real work, creating a real result. Doulingo collects, compares, and contrasts dozens of student results from translating one sentence, and uses the analysis data to determine if the phrase has been translated well enough yet. So while no single student translates a web page 'professionally', every student's efforts contribute to a final, "wisdom of the crowd" style of result.
Student doing real, useful work; learning faster and better by doing. Teachers are focused on supporting the process instead of creating artificial exercises. And to find out that this process has students learn more faster is just the icing on this fabulous cake.
It won't be long, of course, before this model is applied to all kinds of learning and tasks-in-demand. With business collecting profits in the middle, everyone is benefiting more than ever before.
The upshot: humans continue to prepare to kick-ass in the 21st century! Better than we've ever been, better than we ever could be before, building a brighter and better future than has ever been possible. Let's rock it!