For Teachers

For Parents

News-O-Matic EDU

Nonfiction for Classrooms

  • Android, Website, iPad, iPhone
  • Free
  • age 5+
Download for Android Download for iOS

About News-O-Matic EDU

News-O-Matic is a modern app-based news service for kids. Every weekday it provides specially-written news stories and other fact-based articles for subscribers to its app and web-app-based service. News-O-Matic is available on iOS, Android and Kindle Fire.  

Each child using News-O-Matic can access a version of the service based upon their reading ability so that they can both enjoy learning new things and developing their reading skills. As you'll see in this News-O-Matic review, the News-O-Matic service is both a great idea and superbly delivered.

Teacher Review

What is News-O-Matic app?

News-O-Matic brings news and interesting factual content to children each weekday. There are three variations of the News-O-Matic service: News-O-Matic, News-O-Matic EDU, and News-O-Matic Schools.  

This News-O-Matic review is based on the News-O-Matic EDU app and web app. The content for kids will be the same across all of the variations but subscription types, costs and a few additional features separate the service variations and you should see which service most closely matches your requirements.

What we love about News-O-Matic?

There is no comparable service to News-O-Matic. Its responsiveness to world events, its frequency of updates, its 10,000 news article archive, and its child-friendly and safe approach are top rate. The service is useful for teachers and relevant to kids.  

What skills does it improve?

News-O-Matic can be incorporated into many lessons. It provides new content for kids to practise reading each day. Science lessons can pick up on new breakthroughs in the science world as reported by the app. Children's views of the world and the people within it can be informed by facts rather than fiction.

There are as many ways to use the News-O-Matic app to teach as there are news stories.

What age is it appropriate for?

News-O-Matic is aimed at kids from 7 years through to those in their early teens. Its content comes in three selectable levels of text complexity, informed by the Lexile Reading Framework.

The level is set for the account that a child uses to log on and is not obvious without looking at the content. This lets children in the same class but of different reading abilities, enjoy News-O-Matic's content without feeling that they are being treated differently from one another.

Is News-O-Matic easy to use?

How will students benefit?

The news stories are very accessible to kids. As well as setting them to a level appropriate for their reading ability, kids can have the story read out to them by the app. Unfamiliar words and technical terms are explained when tapped on.

As well as the news stories, News-O-Matic answers questions from readers which often cover problems that are relevant to children, such as things that worry them, bullying, and how to ask for help. The answers are sympathetic and provide good advice.

How will teachers benefit?

A set of monitoring tools come with a News-O-Matic EDU account. These let teachers see how children have been using the app or web-app. Time spent in the app, articles visited, and the number of words read are recorded. The teacher dashboard also shows which quizzes children have attempted and how accurately they answered them.

On the News-O-Matic website, there are a set of lesson plans that teachers can use to create general lessons around the content of a day's News-O-Matic articles.

How will parents benefit?

News-O-Matic EDU and News-O-Matic Schools are not designed for parents. Instead, parents should look at the News-O-Matic app and use the iTunes or Play Store subscription option to let their children enjoy News-O-Matic each day.

What News-O-Matic can improve on?

The FAQ section of the News-O-Matic website needs to be expanded to make it clearer what the differences are between News-O-Matic, News-O-Matic EDU, and News-O-Matic Schools. As it stands, the potential buyer has to work a little too hard to discern the differences.

The Read-To-Me function could be made much more useful with a few extra features. It can be played and paused but that's it. Children who want to go back a bit have no way to do this. Children who want to find where the narration is on the text cannot. This may be a consequence of the app using recorded human speech rather than synthesis. This is a good thing so a useful compromise might be to highlight the line, at least, where the narration has reached.

There are a few simple games and activities in the app. While these do broaden the appeal for kids, teachers might well like the facility to disable these features. Then they'll know that if a child is using News-O-Matic EDU, they are interacting with the articles, rather than doing a jigsaw.

How much does News-O-Matic cost?

Teachers and schools can choose from either the News-O-Matic EDU or News-O-Matic Schools services. Free trial periods can be requested and a total subscription cost obtained as a quote through the News-O-Matic website.

Is News-O-Matic safe to use?

Any news story could have an effect on a child for reasons of subject or location. News-O-Matic's reports are all checked by a child psychologist to ensure that they approach all of the topics as sensitively and appropriately as possible.

There is no social media facility within the News-O-Matic app or website and the service's website states that it does not recommend the use of social media by children. News-O-Matic differs from traditional newspapers in that it contains no advertisements.

Overall rating of the app

News-O-Matic helps with literacy, general knowledge, personal wellbeing, and lays the foundations for children to become informed citizens of their country and the world. With new content every day and thousands of archived articles included in the subscription, it is great value. News-O-Matic has earned 5 stars in this review.

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App Details

Teacher Ratings

Devices

Android, Website, iPad, iPhone

Price

Free

Skills

Reading
Academic Relevance
Thinking & Reasoning

Safeguarding

In-App Purchases - No

In-App Advertising - No

Publisher

Press4Kids

Download News-O-Matic EDU

Download for Android Download for iOS

Screenshots for News-O-Matic EDU

  • News-O-Matic EDUNews-O-Matic EDUNews-O-Matic EDUNews-O-Matic EDUNews-O-Matic EDU

Publisher's Description

News-O-Matic has emerged as a state of the art app that will change the way kids interact with broadcast news. News-O-Matic is a nice way to introduce topical events and world news in the classroom. 

Whether your students enjoy reading about sports, science, world news, or wacky events, News-O-Matic delivers what’s making the news! Our mission is to make learning more engaging, active, and personal. 

This nonfiction reading comprehension app publishes five news stories each weekday! The stories range in length and difficulty to create opportunities for differentiated instruction. Readers learn what happened on this date in history through an educational game and write or draw to Editor-in-Chief Russ in the News Room. Each edition gives you access to a Teacher’s Guide. 

Each daily edition features:
* Five dynamic news articles 
* Rich and detailed images, videos, and illustrations
* Informative maps relating the user to the location of every story
* News Room for drawing or asking questions about the news
* An interactive history-based timeline
* Puzzles, games, fun facts, and many other elements for discovery 
* Audio support for challenging vocabulary and full stories read aloud
* Multiple Lexile reading levels
* Custom assessment questions
* Multilingual articles (English, Spanish & French)
* Multilingual Read to Me (English, Spanish & French)
* Save or print articles
* Highlight text
* Citations
* Access to 10 past editions

News-O-Matic is 100% ad-free.

Written by experienced journalists and educators, News-O-Matic is used in schools around the world! All articles are reviewed by a child psychologist before publication to ensure emotionally safe content. 

The News-O-Matic Teacher’s Guide includes questions related to the text and suggested discussion prompts. It provides ideas and activities to serve as a springboard to enrich learning. 

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