New Google App Teaches Indian Children to Read

Technology has long been a huge catalyst in business and economic advancement. We often think of these advances in the context of efficiencies in production (assembly line and robotics), transportation (railways and automobiles), or communications (telephone, Internet, and video conferencing).


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But training efforts can benefit greatly from technology, as well, because training more effective and efficient employees translates into more effective and efficient—and profitable—companies.

A Training Innovation from Google

A recent education/training tool developed by Google, while designed primarily for children, demonstrates the potential of continuously developing tech in the training sector.
“Google is rolling out another app just for India, this time to help children learn to read,” writes Rishi Iyengar in an article for CNN Business. “Bolo, an online reading tutor, was made available to Indian users of Google’s Android operating system this week after months of testing, the company said. The app mimics teacher-student interactions, using artificial intelligence to guide children and give them feedback as they read aloud.”
The app is primarily aimed at Indian children who speak Hindi, India’s most widely spoken language. It contains dozens of children’s stories in both English and Hindi. As a learning tool, Bolo represents two important attributes that help make such tools successful: engagement and convenience.

Engaging Children—or Other Learners

First, by utilizing children’s stories, the Bolo app encourages the engagement and participation of children by helping them learn through text they find entertaining and want to interact with.
It’s likely to be much more effective than simply using text from a standard school textbook. Second, as a smartphone app, Bolo allows students to learn from anywhere they can access the app with their smartphone. They don’t need to be in a classroom or only study during particular hours.
Bolo may be designed for children, but it represents the growing potential for learning technology that can be leveraged and utilized in any industry for adults, children, employees, and students.
Today’s employees increasingly love to learn. In fact, learning can be used as a tool for recruiting and retention. We cover how to “sell” training as an employee benefit at our upcoming Workforce L&D 2019 conference.

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