I review a lot of apps for kids and thus, am inundated with spinning, whirling, jumping, and shrieking characters/animals/aliens on my iPad. But once in a while, an app comes along that makes me breathe a sigh of "well, finally." Such is the case with a ingenious app that condenses the daily news of the world and delivers it in perfectly kid-digestible form.
News-o-Matic from the young company, Press4Kids is a daily iPad newspaper app (6.0 or later for now) for young readers, aged 7 to 10. Developed by actual journalists and educators with the help of a child psychologist--a good sign right there--News-o-Matic's mission is two-fold: to inspire a daily reading habit and engage kids in what happening in the news, science, sports and the arts in a safe and empowering way.
Colorful and fun, with eye-popping graphics and sound effects, your elementary school child can choose from 5 top stories that not only give information, but invite reaction and interaction.
Each story has a "fact" button with additional facts, an "act" button that gives actionable ideas, and a "Go there" button that shows a map of the globe and a "You Are Here" indicator and cool tidbits like how far it is to the source of the story and how long it would take to drive there. So clever.
Also, News-o-Matic happens to be ad-free which I love. The downside of that: subscription cost. It's on par with an adult publication (Weekly $1.99, Monthly $6.99, Yearly $49.99), but for such an invaluable tool, I'd pay that in a heartbeat if you've got a real news junkie in the family.However you do get a three-issue free trial
There's also a free version of News-O-Matic just for classroom teachers should you want to pass that info along to your school. And to think we used to come home covered in ink from the local papers after social studies classes. -Shari