Google’s Read Along Android app, which teaches elementary school students reading skills, is now available in 180 countries for early access, the company announced today. Read Along uses Google's text-to-speech and speech recognition technology to provide feedback while children work through the app's reading prompts and games. The app supports nine languages, including English, Spanish, Portuguese and Hindi. Read Along was first launched in March 2019 as an app called Bolo in India.
Children are guided through Read Along using an in-app reading buddy called Diya. "It gives [children] positive and reinforcing feedback along the way, as parents or teachers would," said Google. "Children can also tap Diya at any time to get help pronouncing a word or phrase."
Here are some screenshots of Read Along from the app's Play Store page:
According to Google, voice data collected by Read Along is analyzed on the device and not sent to Google's servers. The app also works completely offline. However, you need to connect to Wi-Fi if you want to download new stories so your child can edit them. According to Google, no sign-in is required for "read along", and no ads or in-app purchases are made.
As the COVID-19 pandemic forced students to stay home from school, Google extended and free access to some advanced Google Meet features for G Suite and G Suite for Education customers through September 30th 4,000 Chromebooks Donated to Rural Students in California Launched resource pages to help teachers and families teach Google products to students.