Schools have remained closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Parents and teachers are now increasingly turning online to find educational resources for children. That’s why Google has upscaled their speach-based reading app Read Along to help primary grade kids learn to read.
Formerly known as Bolo, acts as a personal reading tutor for children. It uses speech-based technology to provide personalised assistance in a student’s reading journey. It does this by correcting them when they need help and encouraging them when they get it right.
Students select stories to read from library and earn stars and badges when they read correctly. After an initial download, the app works offline, even on low budget phones. This makes it more accessible and relieves worries of privacy and security.
Updates and Improvements
The Read Along App now includes:
- Improved features that make it easier for multilingual children to switch languages.
- More than 700 unique books across all nine languages, including Arabic.
Google’s internal analysis shows that beginner readers register an improvement of between 38% and 88% in their oral reading skills after reading for 100 minutes on the app. The conmpany goes on to say that the ability to read builds the foundation for education and a better life.
According to the United Nations, 617 million children and adolescents lack basic literacy skills. Agnes Gathaiya, Google Country Director, Kenya and East Africa had this to say;
“Google is taking the education journey back to the basics. It is providing a digital platform that will make learning to read simpler and fun especially in the light of COVID-19 related school closures. At Google, we believe technology can help children around the world achieve the goal of basic universal literacy.”