News-o-Matic

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Age range: 8-14

Device: iPad

Quick Line: Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

As a social studies teacher, I feel the need to use resources that are timely. But it is difficult to find articles that contain a) content appropriate for intermediate students or b) written at an appropriate comprehension level. News-o-Matic surprised me with both.

I pleasantly zipped my way through articles on Thailand’s Splash Water Festival, sea turtles in Puerto Rico (my absolute favorite animal), an app where children can practice coding, and a story about a twelve-year-old who started a bike charity for children in India. Good stuff!

I think teachers should take a look at this app. Our school currently subscribes to Scholastic News which is weekly. But I would love to have access to something that is daily. In addition, there are several features that set this app apart from most resources. Each article offers an additional FACT, encouragement to ACT, and access to a map to relate to the location of the topic. Readers can also see what happened on this date in history and “chat” with Russ in the newsroom (not in real time).

This is a free app, but regular reading will require a subscription. As I understand it, I can subscribe for a week, month, or year through iTunes. I’m thinking of using it during my day of “plugged in” learning. More information to follow!

Thoughts?