Google introduces Bolo – an Android app to help children improve reading skills

Designed for primary grade students, Google has launched Bolo, powered by the internet giant’s speech recognition and text-to-speech technology. The App comes with a built-in fun and helpful reading buddy, “Diya”. Diya encourages, aids, explains and corrects the child, as they read aloud — anytime, anywhere.

Bolo helps children:

  • Read all by themselves: Just like a personalized reading tutor, the app assists them at every step, giving both positive and corrective feedback.
  • Choose from a large variety of engaging stories: All the reading material on the app is completely free and the initial catalog from org.in includes 50 stories in Hindi & 40 in English; with more being added by other partners soon.
  • Enjoy as they learn: Children can also play interesting word games and earn in-app rewards and badges, helping reading become both fun and a daily habit.
  • Improve at their own pace: Multiple children can use the same app, and track their progress separately. Over time the difficulty level of recommended stories adjusts to their reading skills.
  • Understand English better: Diya can not only read out the text to your child but also explain the meaning of English text in Hindi.
  • Read without distractions (and without data too): The app works even when offline, so children can just focus on reading and are completely ads free.
  • Stay safe and secure: The app has been designed with children’s safety and security in mind and all personal information always stays on the device.

With the help of ASER Centre, Google has been piloting Bolo across 200 villages in Uttar Pradesh, India, over the past few months. Google has found that the early results were very encouraging, and the company found that 64% of children showed an improvement in reading proficiency in just 3 months.

Available on the Google Play Store, in India, Bolo will be accessible for all Android smartphones, running Android 4.4 (Kit Kat) and higher. In its current form, the app is designed and optimized for native Hindi speakers but will evolve over time for other languages.

 

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