Thursday, 21 March, 2019

Google Launches Bolo In India: Speech-based App To Help Children Read

Google launches ‘Bolo’ to tutor children to read Hindi, English Google launches Bolo app to help children read, available on Play Store
Katie Ramirez | 09 March, 2019, 09:31

Google says its new app can help bring that number up, and a pilot scheme with nearly 1,000 children showed that 64 percent of participants improved their reading skills after using the Bolo app. There is no word on when the app will be released in other markets. Google is planning to change that by utilizing cell phones, which are progressively turning into a typical sight, even in provincial zones.

Google said via a statement that it believes in the power of technology that can help to transform teaching and learning.

Google is all set to help the children of rural India to enhance their reading skills, and for that, the company has designed its latest Bolo Android app on 6 March. Bolo is also designed with safety features so as to not collect any personal information about children using them. The reading material, stories sourced from Storyweaver, are available for free.

The Android app, which is being firstly launched in India first, is supported by the Google speech recognition and text to speech technology. The app also includes word games which children can play and earn in-app rewards and badges to make learning fun.

On security, Google says the application does not require any data to be entered by the client. "Diya cannot only read out the text to your child, but also explain the meaning of English text in Hindi", Google wrote in a blog post. Consider Diya as a virtual teacher that encourages, helps, explains and corrects the student wherever they are.

Further, the app can be shared among many kids and provides a personalised experience to all.

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The app allows multiple children to use and tracks their activities and progress separately.

Given the app is going to be used by children, there is the important question of privacy.

The Bolo app, which is launching in beta first, comes after a pilot project that Google ran with 900 children in over 200 villages in Uttar Pradesh with ASER centre. Google will also be working with four nonprofit partners - Pratham Education Foundation, Room to Read, Saajha and Kaivalya Education Foundation - a Piramal Initiative, who will ensure that the service reaches to all the children in the country.

The app is now limited to these two languages, though Google says it will expand it to more languages later. "Early results are very encouraging, and we found that 64 percent of children showed an improvement in reading proficiency in just 3 months". The app is aimed at helping kids who are unable to go to schools or have no access to it.

You can download Bolo app from the Google Play Store using this link. It accompanies 16 preloaded stories and more can be downloaded.

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