Friday, March 15, 2013

Great New App for Kids -- News-O-Matic -- A Fun and Interactive DAILY Newspaper for Kids (Review)



Does your child watch morning news at school?  I remember when I was in my last year of high school, they were introducing Channel 1 news into our school.  It was a new broadcast led by teens, sharing news from around the world, as well as their thoughts on various topics that teens were interested in.  Each and every morning, we would tune into the twenty minute broadcast, and get caught up on the happenings around the world.  I was surprised to find that many of my fellow students didn't follow the news because of lack of interest, or due to not having enough time after sports and extra curricula activities and homework in a given day.  So, this was a great time to expose them to news, and get them talking with peers and teachers.  

Oftentimes, the morning news would be revisited in other classes, and great discussions were had.  But, then after I graduated and moved onto college, I noticed the lack of interest in news again, and wondered why.  I was surprised and happy to hear from old high school friends, who are now teachers in middle and high school that morning news is still aired in schools each morning, and how they get their students excited about talking about the news and world happenings, as it relates to them.  I kept thinking to myself that it was only a matter of time before a news app geared towards kids would become available -- and then, the other day I learned of Press4Kids's first publication, News-O-Matic, "an educational news app that covers breaking news, sports, science and much more in an accessible and kid-friendly way!"  

I had to check it out and see how tit compared to the news I fell in love with while in school and see how this app would work into the lives of tech savvy kids today.  

"Targeted to kids ages 7-10, News-O-Matic is a week day newspaper application which includes five daily news stories, detailed images, videos, illustrations, maps, timelines and games. P4K’s objective is to inspire a generation of children to become habitual news readers and well-informed global citizens.

News-O-Matic gives children the opportunity to explore the latest current events through the app, while also giving them a voice to express their views. Children can interact with the Editor-in-Chief by rating stories, drawing pictures, asking questions or expressing opinions about current topics in the “News Room” section of the app.

Created by a skilled team—including child experts, designers and entrepreneurs—News-O-Matic aims to transform the news experience for children in a safe, interactive environment while encouraging them to become knowledgeable, productive members of society."

iPad Screenshot 3

Even though my children are too young to truly appreciate this app, I did have a chance to review it with my 8 yr. old nephew and 10 yr. old niece today, and was happy to see their excitement about what they learning about in the news.  Unfortunately, they don't have a morning news broadcast in their school, so the only time they can watch the news is when they get home from school and are waiting for dinner to be ready.  While my brother-in-law and his wife don't freely discuss the happenings of the world with them, I always make a point to talk with them and answer any questions they may have, as a way to get them engaged in the news, as one day, this will all matter to them.  

The first thing that caught my eye was how colorful this news app was, followed up by how easy it was to navigate around and read each news story.  The stories are written in such a way that kids can comprehend them, and feel like the news is being shared at their level.  This is the part my niece and nephew liked the most.  And, with 5 stories a day, they don't feel overwhelmed with too many things.  I know for me, that there are days that I watch the news and only see negative stories.  I find myself wondering if there is any good in the world, before I flip to another channel.  I can only imagine how young children and teens feel when watching the news, and not being able to talk openly about it.

But, with this new FREE educational news apps from Press4Kids, I can see this is a great conversation starter for parents and children to talk opening about the happenings in the world around them, as well as keep kids up-to-date on important events - in hopes to spark intellectual conversations with peers and teachers.  Since reviewing this app with my family, I also shared news of this new app with friends who are homeschooling their children, and couldn't wait to hear what they thought of it.  So far, I have heard from a handful of these moms, and they are so happy to have found this app, and will be incorporating it in their studies, as their children are loving it -- just as much as my family does.

So, if you love sharing fun, educational apps with your children, why not consider checking out the News-O-Matic app from Press 4 Kids today?  Click here to download this app FREE from iTunes -- (Note: You have to sign up for a subscription plan to view daily news feeds -- a yearly subscription is $49.99 (260 issues), while a monthly subscription is $6.99 (22 issues).  Or, sign up for a weekly subscription: $1.99 + 1 week free (10 issues).

Make sure to like Press4Kids on Facebook, and follow on Twitter  for the latest updates on this and future Press4Kids apps for kids.

Disclosure: I was given a FREE 3 month subscription to this news app, as well as  thank you gift from the folks at Childs Play Pr, for writing and sharing an honest review of this app.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

1 comment :

  1. My kids love it! They also offer a FREE daily teacher guide to accompany the app. Simply email [email protected] for the PDF!