How The Google Rivet App Helps Children Learn How To Read

By Amit Chowdhry ● May 23, 2019
  • Rivet, an app launched by Google’s Area 120, helps kids learn how to read
  • Using advanced speech technology, Rivet is able to provide support on every word

Reading is considered one of the most important skills students will learn in their lives. After third grade, students who have mastered reading will use it for learning just about everything else in life. But struggling readers are unlikely to catch up and are four times less likely to graduate from high school.  And unfortunately, 64% of fourth-grade students in the U.S. perform below the proficient level in reading.

Ben Turtel, the founder and CTO of Rivet at Area 120 (workshop for Google’s experimental products), announced a new reading app that addresses the common barriers to effective reading practice through a free and easy-to-use reading experience optimized for kids.

There is evidence that shows that one of the major differences between poor and strong readers is the amount of time that is spent reading. So Google is launching Rivet to ensure that high-quality reading practice is available to all.

Rivet offers a rapidly growing digital library of more than 2,000 free books. And Rivet makes it easier to find interesting reading material at the right level. There are books that cover a wide variety of topics like planets in outer space to Harriet Tubman. And every book in the library is curated and carefully reviewed.

And Rivet essentially uses advanced speech technology to provide support on every word and it gives kids feedback on their reading. This way kids can practice independently without getting stuck.

Some of Rivet’s features include Tap for Help (tap on a word to hear it pronounced), Say the Word (app will show which parts of a word were said correctly and parts they need to work on), Definitions and Translations (definitions are available for every work and it can be translated into more than 25 languages for non-native speakers), and Follow Along (the app can read full-pages aloud on certain books and each word is highlighted).

Rivet also rewards dedication with points and badges. Plus it personalizes the experience with avatars and themes.

“Our goal is to deliver high-quality reading practice to children everywhere, along with peace of mind for the busy parents accompanying them on their reading journey,” wrote Turtel.

And in the next few months, Rivet is going to launch features to support reading practice in classrooms, add new content for a wider range of reading levels, and expand to more countries around the world.

Rivet is available for Android smartphones, tablets, iPads, iPhones, and Chromebooks in 11 countries.