Google is launching a new educational app for children to use across the world.
In 2019, Google launched an Android app called Bolo in India to help elementary school-age children learn how to read. It’s now launching the app globally in 180 countries and calling it Read Along. It uses Google’s text-to-speech and speech recognition tech to guide kids through the app’s reading activities. The app supports nine languages, including English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Hindi.
Read Along has an “in-app reading buddy” named Diya that gives kids encouraging feedback along the way. Children can also ask Diya at any time for help pronouncing a word or a sentence. The app will also work offline, but you need to connect to Wi-Fi if to download new content. Read Along's voice data analysis happen on-device, and the app doesn't require a sign-in, serve ads, or have in-app purchases.
Here's how Google describes Read Along:
Read Along is a free reading app for Android that helps children have fun while they learn to read. Read Along has an in-app reading buddy that listens to your young learner read aloud, offers assistance when they struggle and rewards them with stars when they do well – guiding them along as they progress. It works best for children who already have some basic knowledge of the alphabet. After the initial download, the app works securely offline.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many students are learning entirely at home, so interactive and modern resources like Read Along are certainly helpful for parents who may be struggling to juggle work and teaching their kids to read.