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Google launches Bolo app to educate kids, improve reading in Hindi, English
Diya encourages, aids, explains and corrects the child, as they read aloud -- anytime, anywhere.
Search tech giant Google has announced the launch of Bolo an Android app to educate children to improve their reading skills in Hindi and English.
Bolo, powered by Google's speech recognition and text-to-speech technology, 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.
All the reading material on the app is completely free and the initial catalog from Storyweaver.org.in includes 50 stories in Hindi & 40 in English; with more being added by other partners soon. Children can also play interesting word games and earn in-app rewards and badges, helping reading become both fun and a daily basis. The app works even when offline, so children can just focus on reading and are completely ads free.
The Bolo app also allows multiple children to use and tracks their activities and progress separately. Diya will explain the meaning of English texts in Hindi.
Bolo is also designed with safety features so as to not collect any personal information about children using them.
We have been piloting Bolo across 200 villages in Uttar Pradesh, India, over the past few months. Early results are very encouraging, and we found that 64 percent of children showed an improvement in reading proficiency in just 3 months, Google said.
Google said, "We are excited to introduce Bolo to all children and their parents across India, under an open beta program. Additionally, over the next 6 months we will be working closely with four of our nonprofit partners -- Pratham Education Foundation, Room to Read, Saajha and Kaivalya Education Foundation - a Piramal Initiative, who have extensive experience of working in this space and will be able to take Bolo to more children, and further expand our efforts across India. We hope to learn a great deal more with today's launch and will continue to make it better as we move ahead."
The new app will be available on the Google Play Store, in India, and will be accessible for all Android smartphones, running Android 4.4 (Kit Kat) and higher.