What parents in western countries may not be aware of is that Google has a Read Along program for kids to teach them how to read. This is a service that has been available in India since 2019 and was released worldwide in 2020. The app’s reading assistant, Diya, listens to your child as they read aloud in the app and helps them by correcting pronunciation or giving encouragement as they read more.
While the app has been live on Android since 2020, Google has recently announced that the website beta is available for public use. This is in an effort to make everything that is special about the app more readily accessible to users who are using a web browser.
There are lots of benefits to being able to use the website version of Read Along. For example, a bigger screen means that the text can be bigger for those who require additional help, and there are also functions that allow schools to be able to use the tool in classes for free.
Since all of the audio is captured in the browser, none of the data is sent anywhere and remains private at all times.
As the beta becomes fully fleshed out, Google intends on adding more stories to its library and is partnering with kid-focused content creators ChuChu TV and USP Studios to transform their text stories into video. While a partnership with Kutuki will ensure that there are many Hindi and English picture books and phonetic books available and interactive for early readers. Hopefully, the early readers will be getting these releases later this year.