Thursday, June 6, 2013

News-O-Matic - Review and Giveaway

In exchange for this post, I will be receiving a goodie bag.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

It seems news is inundated these days with tragedies and catastrophes.  It's hard enough for adults to grasp sometimes, so I'm sure children's minds are flooded with 'how's' and 'why's'.   In light of the recent events with the Oklahoma City Tornadoes and the terrorist attack in London, I'd like to share some tips from News-O-Matic, a valuable resource for parents.

As parents know, children process these things differently. They may be asking difficult questions and parents may need suggestions to help discuss what happened and address their concerns. Since directing them to the New York Times to read about it or any other news source is not an option, Press4Kids developed News-O-Matic.  News-O-Matic is an educational news app that covers breaking news, sports, science and much more in an accessible and kid-friendly way.

Targeted to kids ages 7-10, News-O-Matic is a week day newspaper application which includes five daily news stories, detailed images, videos, illustrations, maps, timelines and games. P4K’s objective is to inspire a generation of children to become habitual news readers and well-informed global citizens.  News-O-Matic gives children the opportunity to explore the latest current events through the app, while also giving them a voice to express their views. Children can interact with the Editor-in-Chief by rating stories, drawing pictures, asking questions or expressing opinions about current topics in the “News Room” section of the app.

Created by a skilled team—including child experts, designers and entrepreneurs—News-O-Matic aims to transform the news experience for children in a safe, interactive environment while encouraging them to become knowledgeable, productive members of society.

Simply download the News-O-Matic app (available for the iPad or iPad Mini in the Apple App Store for a free, three-issue trial).  After the trial you must select a weekly, monthly or yearly subscription to continue.

Emma had a chance to check out News-O-Matic and enjoyed reading the different news stories.  The app is user-friendly for kids and has tutorial buttons to help navigate.  With issues posted each week day afternoon, kids are able to read the most current events and issues.  As a parent, I like that readers cannot comment on the articles directly.  If a child has a question or wants to draw a picture, they can submit it to the News Room for possibility of publication in future issues.  Also, external links and advertisements are omitted from News-O-Matic.   

Here are some tips from Dr. Phyllis Ohr, Child Psychologist for News-O-Matic, on talking to your children about today’s current events and news stories if they have questions or concerns:

1. When the event does not personally affect the child, reassure them that everything is okay with the people they love and that nothing has changed for them.

2. Be sure to stress to children that if they do have questions to ask parents, teachers as well as friends. Other children having the same feelings may be comforting.

3. Begin by giving the child a brief synopsis of what happened by using age appropriate language. Ask if there is something they want to know more about or if they need something explained further. If so, stick to pointedly answering their question or clarifying. Do not add on or digress.

4. Do not assume the news will make children feel a certain way. Ask if they know how they feel, but stress that kids feel all different ways when they hear important news and sometimes do not know how they feel or do not feel anything which is okay. However, if children are affected by it, it is their own feeling. Reassure children that no matter what they are feeling, their feelings are okay.

5. If they are upset but don't want to talk, suggest a fun activity for distraction or help them use calming skills like playing, drawing a picture or writing a story. These activities help release any upset feelings and make children feel better.

Win It!  

One person will win a News-O-Matic goodie bag that includes a $10 iTunes gift card, backpack, hats, water bottles and an iPad screen cleaner.

 *This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

19 comments:

GeorgiaBeckman said...

My favorite part of the news is local news. I like to read about what is happening around my area & it's always neat to see a name you know in the paper.

Yona Williams said...

I like the local news - knowing all the things that are happening in the neighborhoods.

Alexis AKA MOM said...

Wow that is great!

VickeC said...

we love watching the weather so we can make plans

Ken Ohl said...

weather for sure. thankyou, ken pohl19@comcast.net

bison61 said...

I like the local news

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

gb994 said...

My son loves this app so much! I downloaded a monthly subscription and he is now reading News-O-Matic every day!

Jennifer T. said...

I like local news or human interest stories the most.
jtmagmom73(at)gmail(dot)com

Melissa Storms said...

I like local news the most. Though we watch the weather several times a day too.
upstatemissy@gmail.com

Jackie said...

I like the local news. I always read it first...then the national news
Thanks!

bettycd said...

Local news to include the weather. Huge difference to find the local station that reports weather that relates to your area vs the area of the state where they are located

Bert Ruiz said...

I like the Sports Section the best

Sue Hull said...

I like the weather best.I like to know ahead of time what the week looks like.Thank you :)

amy tolley (amylynn73) said...

i love the local news and around the world new....just not to much into the sports part thanks

katja9_10 said...

Local news and sports are my two favorite.

Les Johnson

jakiesmom said...

lately the weather..cause it's crazy

Robert Pyszk said...

I like watching the weather.

Klydra Pugh said...

My favorite part of the news is the sports hightlights and weather.
Thank for the chance.

dawn keenan said...

I like the weather and the top headlines.