App Name: News-O-Matic
Capabilities: iOS, Android, Amazon (Kindle)
Subject(s): Social Studies, English, Science
Description: News-O-Matic is a virtual, interactive newspaper for kids. Each issue contains a few current event articles written for a younger crowd. Each article has key vocabulary linked to definitions to promote greater comprehension. Users also have the option to have the article read to them as they read. Articles also come with a map pinpointing the location of the event they are reading about and providing additional information about the area and what it takes to get there as well as videos and a prompt for students to respond to. Users can write a response or draw a picture relating to the article and submit it to the paper’s ‘editor and chief’ Russ (the dog mascot) and Russ will respond and share their work. Students using the app can join classes where articles can be assigned and all users can save articles they liked and/or want to revisit. Users also have access to three different educational games to keep the interaction with material going even between issues. There are many different versions of the app aside from the original that serve different age groups and/or purposes.
FUTD’s Rating 5/5
News-O-Matic is a fun and interactive way for students to experience current events. The articles are written for a middle school age group but do not sacrifice any of the content to achieve this. The maps, videos, and prompts make the material interactive and can provide students with a rich, engaging reading experience and exposes the, to multimedia in a secure way. The extra reading tools also help students comprehend the reading and develop strong literacy skills. It is amazing that students are able to share their work and reactions to article with a global community and receive positive feedback validating their efforts. Overall, this is a great and way to use current events in the classroom and practice literacy skills.