Google launches learning app ‘Bolo’

Google’s Bolo App Launched In India To Help Children Speak In Hindi And English

Google’s Bolo App Launched In India To Help Children Speak In Hindi And English

Tech giant Google on Wednesday unveiled a new app Bolo that aims to help children in primary school learn to read in Hindi and English.

"We have designed the app to work offline, so users need to just download the under 50MB app once and then they have access to close to 100 stories in Hindi and English that the children can read out loud and improve their reading skills", Google India Product Manager Nitin Kashyap said.

At the launch, Google cited the annual ASER 2018 report to share that children in rural India lag in learning and the lack of reading ability can significantly impact further education, and ultimately children's ability to realize their full potential. If a child finds a word hard to pronounce, Diya automatically detects that and helps them out before proceeding with the rest of the story.

The app is now limited to these two languages, though Google says it will expand it to more languages later.

According to Nitin Kashyap, Product Manager, Google India, Bolo is created to encourage and engage kids so their love for reading grows and it becomes a daily habit. "We believe that technology can be a powerful enabler, and we want to ensure that students, parents, teachers and the education ecosystem, benefit from it", Kashyap said. Many children, especially those in rural India don't have this support.

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The idea with Bolo is to work as a personalized reading tutor, and the app gives positive and corrective feedback.

The app includes an initial catalogue from Storyweaver with over 50 stories in Hindi and 40 in the English language.

Bolo will get more content soon, said the company. No name, age, gender is needed nor is a Gmail account needed to sign in. It also lauds the reader when he/she completes the reading.

Google also says that multiple children can use the same app and track their progress separately. The company notes that the "Diya" feature can explain the meaning of English text in Hindi and it works even when there is no internet connectivity. 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.

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