News-O-Matic: An News App Fit for Kids

Sigh. I miss the newspaper. Double sigh. It was a sad day when I canceled the Washington Post. About three years ago, I had to admit that I was drowning in newspaper. Each day that the newspaper was delivered I would look forward to reading it. I would glance at the headlines. Put the newspaper on the table ready for me. But try as I might I rarely had a chance to read it. By Sunday, I had 7 days worth of newspapers. I was overwhelmed.

You see I am the type that reads the newspaper from cover to cover. I have a soup to nuts approach with the paper. I start with the Style section. I love reading about coming exhibitions, movies about to be released, and seasonal activities for the family. I’d glance at the sports headlines. Read all about what is going on in D.C. and the suburbs. Then move on to the main section of the Washington Post. But, the task of reading seven entire newspapers was just too much. Regrettably, many Sundays I had to toss most of the week’s newspapers in the recycling bin.

Without the newspapers piled up on the kitchen table and on every available surface, I have to say that I was a bit relieved. I missed the paper, but didn’t miss the clutter. For the last few years, I have found all my news online or on TV. But what about my kids? Where are they finding the news?

My teens learn about the day’s events practically in real time. They both knew about the Newtown tragedy early by following a long on social media channels, Twitter and Facebook. But then there is my 9-year-old. Often I assume that he knows about a current event, but many times he does not. His elementary school is careful about what information is passed on to students. My son did not know what happened at Newtown. In fact, his school was quick to email parents to let them know that no information would be divulged to students. Some parents may disagree on this stance, but I prefer to be the one to “give” news to my kids.

My son is all about the iPad. He knows that if he does his homework and his chores that he will get “screen time.” Once on the iPad he has many games that he likes to play. Recently I was asked to check out a new app for the iPad. I knew my son would be the perfect reviewer. The app is an news app, which made me very happy.

My son wasted no time at all downloading the News-O-Matic app. He was very excited about the app. In fact, rather than me telling you what he thought about News-O-Matic, here’s his review!

News-O-Matic was very fun . Also most of the news was kinda weird. Some of the news is disturbing too! I think it’s a little expensive to pay $49.99 for a year of it. I love News-O-Matic SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And there you have it…the Musings from Me 9-year-old’s review. I took a click around News-O-Matic and here’s what I liked. Let’s call this review the Musings from Me Mom’s review!

  • The main news screen was brightly colored and the text was easy to read.
  • There were lots of photos that looked clickable…kind of a call to action to encourage a kid to click and read more.
  • I like when an app is more than just bells and whistles. Newsomatic features concise kid-friendly news stories.
  • My son read a story about an “invisibility cloak” a la Harry Potter. The story was written for a child’s perspective and featured kids demonstrating the cloak. I was intrigued enough to lean in and listen more closely as my son watched.

Here’s what you need to know about the app:

  • News-O-Matic is available for the iPad. By having all the content only on the iPad, young readers are protected from external links or advertisements.
  • News-O-Matic is available FREE to new users for a trial period. After that period is over, users must select one of the following options: Weekly: $1.99, Monthly: $6.99, OR Yearly: $49.99. The Yearly rate is a 50% savings compared to the weekly plan.
  • Recommended for ages 4 and up.
  • New News-O-Matic issues are posted each afternoon Monday through Friday at about 3:30 p.m. Children can read each day’s current events when they get home from school.
  • News-O-Matic is not connected to social media sites, so kids can’t share links.

I was not compensated to write this post, but I was sent a News-O-Matic drawstring bag, water bottle, and screen cleaner. The views expressed in this post are my own. I follow the tenets of Blog With Integrity.

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