Google introduces educational app Bolo to improve children’s literacy in India


Google is expanding its suite of apps designed for the Indian market with today’s launch of a new language-learning app aimed at children, called Bolo. The app, which is aimed at elementary school-aged students, leverages technology like Google’s speech recognition and text-to-speech to help kids learn to read in both Hindi and English.
The Bolo app is optimised for native Hindi speakers, and uses Google’s speech recognition and text-to-speech technology.
Google Bolo app comes with a built-in assistant called Diya that corrects the kid as they read aloud. ‘Diya’ can not only read out the text to your child, but also explain the meaning of English text in Hindi. Interesting, the app is designed to work offline as well without internet connectivity.
“We believe technology has the power to help transform teaching and learning, and have been actively directing our products, programs and philanthropy to ensure that all students are able to benefit from it,” Google said in a statement.
“Bolo is designed as a reading-tutor app that helps primary grade students to improve their reading. We have been piloting Bolo in 200 villages, and the early results are very encouraging. We are now actively working with a number of nonprofit partners to take it to more people across the country who could benefit from it,” said Nitin Kashyap, Product Manager, Google India.
All the reading material on the app is completely free and the initial catalogue from includes 50 stories in Hindi and 40 in English with more being added soon. Children can also play word games and earn in-app rewards and badges. Also, multiple children can use the same app, and track their progress separately. Over time the difficulty level of recommended stories adjusts to their reading skills.