Chennai

First-of-its kind AI-powered ‘Reading Marathon’ concludes

In Illam Thedi Kalvi centres across the State, a campaign that began on June 1 to promote reading habits of students concluded on Sunday. The first-of-its-kind AI powered ‘Reading Marathon’ was facilitated by the School Education Department’s association with Google’s ‘Read Along app’, for which an MoU was signed earlier this year. 

The Read Along app, an android reading app developed by Google, aims at ensuring that children have fun while they learn to read. Through an in-app reading buddy, it listens to young readers read out aloud and offers assistance as well as words of encouragement as they get words right. 

“At nearly 1.81 Illam Thedi Kalvi centres, we initiated this digital intervention to promote reading habits among children. As of Saturday, nearly 17.4 lakh students had read over 226 crore words through the app and we will get the final figures, which were reached on Sunday, shortly,” said K. Elambahavath, Officer on Special Duty, Illam Thedi Kalvi. 

During this large-scale reading marathon, students could read texts in both English and Tamil. For different age-groups, the lengths of the texts the app had varied. 

Volunteers who are a part of the Illam Thedi Kalvi initiative had the app on their phones where they created separate profiles for the children. “The children either read from the phones of the volunteers or used the app on smartphones in their homes. Since students already enjoy using smart phones, they enjoyed reading through the app— it felt like an interactive game and the encouragement for getting words right also motivated them,” Mr. Elambahavath said. 

Through the summer holidays, several students continued to go into Illam Thedi Kalvi centres in their localities. A volunteer-led initiative, Illam Thedi Kalvi was initiated last year as a first-of-its-kind initiative to address the learning gaps that came up due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on school education. 


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Printable version | Aug 5, 2022 5:35:59 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/first-of-its-kind-ai-powered-reading-marathon-concludes/article65521437.ece