If you’re at home with a little one that’s just starting to learn to read, Google has a new free resource you can use to help them along.
This week Google launched “Read Along,” an app for elementary school students that helps them practice reading skills. The app is based on Google’s existing app, Bolo, that launched in India last year.
The app has an in-app reading buddy that will listen to your child read out loud and offer them help if they start to struggle with a word of phrase. When they’re successful in reading a passage they can earn stars, giving the app a bit of a game-like quality to it.
Once you’ve downloaded it onto a device, that device no longer needs to be connected to the internet in order for the app to work, making it a little safer for using unsupervised.There also aren’t in-app purchases or upsells, so you’re not going to have to worry about your child asking for expensive add-ons if you do let them try it out.
Also on the privacy front, Google doesn’t ask for your child’s name, age, specific location, email address or phone number to use the app. Your child’s reading is analysed on your device in real-time, but is never stored on the device or sent to Google’s servers.
The app currently works for nine languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi, Urdu, Telugu, Marathi, and Tamil.
There are a ton of built-in illustrated stories to choose from in each language as well as games your child can play to help bolster their reading skills.
If you have a new reader on your hands at home it’s definitely worth taking a look at.