Published: Sat, March 09, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Google launches reading-tutor app 'Bolo' in India

Google launches reading-tutor app 'Bolo' in India

The learning app has been launched across India under an open beta program via Google Play following a pilot across 200 village in Uttar Pradesh, India. The company claims that the results are very encouraging, with 64% of children showing an improvement in reading proficiency in just 3 months. Bolo is a free app and relies on Google's text-to-speech and speech recognition technology.

Launched in India first, the app is created to work offline and Google says that Diya has been engineered to encourages, explain, and correct a child, while they are reading.

Bolo is designed as a reading-tutor app that helps primary grade students to improve their reading - anytime, anywhere.

"Nothing is ever sent to Google through the app", Nitin Kashyap, Product Manager, Google India, told IANS, adding the app is meant for just 10-15 minutes of daily use.

The annual ASER 2018 report showed that of all students enrolled in grade 5 in rural India, only about half of them can confidently read a grade 2 level textbook.

The Google Bolo app can be downloaded from Google Play and it works with all Android phones running version 4.4 KitKat or above. Furthermore, it also includes a total of 90 stories - both in English as well as Hindi. It seeks to help children read with the aid of a virtual tutor. Now, with the wider release of the app, the company's aiming to reach more children across India.

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

Also, the app works offline as well and does not include any ads. To that end, it's not looking to monetize the app in any way; it doesn't gather any personal data either, and is completely safe for children to use without having to worry about their privacy being invaded.

Google will be working closely with four non-profit partners including Pratham Education Foundation, Room to Read, Saajha and Kaivalya Education Foundation - a Piramal Initiative, who have extensive experience of working in this space to take Bolo to more children, and further expand their efforts across India.

The app features an animated symbol 'Diya ' who encourages children to read stories aloud and it helps if the children are unable to pronounce. It is also working to add support for more Indic languages to Bolo, but the company did not share a timeline for the same.

To ensure the safety of all the users, they are not asked to enter any personal details in this app to logged in.

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