A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
To begin a one-week free trial, provide CLARIFY* BY PLAYBAC-EXPLAIN THE NEWS TO YOUR KIDS with your email address, and accept the weekly subscription renewal in iTunes. Confirm your account through an email, and then add individual kid accounts for up to five kids across multiple devices. Select the account of the kid who's currently watching the news and choose a story. After choosing a story, kids can listen and tap the heart to save it to favorites. Parents can tap on the Family Board to view each kid's use either in the last five days or "all time."
Is it any good?
If you want your kid to understand current events, but they don't want to read or watch mainstream media, this video app may be a good alternative. Clarify* by Playbac-Explain the News to your Kids indicates that its news is "100 percent fact based, 0 percent opinion." Each day, a new story update is scheduled for 5 p.m. Story headlines are typically phrased in the form of a question that kids may have asked themselves after hearing a term used at school or from another news source -- for example, "What is gender inequality?" and "What's the difference between facts and opinions?" The videos are one to three minutes long, the graphics are eye-catching, and the questions at the ends of the videos can help spark discussions. One concern: Some of the issues that Clarify* covers seem too broad to tackle in one very brief video. Adding some expert-vetted "further resources" sites at the end of the video where kids and parents can go to find out more could improve this app.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the questions at the end of each "clarifier" on Clarify* by Playbac-Explain the News to your Kids. The questions are intended to spark family discussions about the topic.
Talk about news literacy and what to look for to determine whether news is legitimate or not. How can you tell if a story's real or fake?
Once your kid "likes" or "doesn't like" a story, ask them why. Find out what they think makes a good news story.
Encourage your kid to write a news story for their school newspaper or a letter to the editor of your local newspaper or an online news source about an issue they care about.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Social Studies: citizenship, cultural understanding, events, global awareness, government, history, power structures, the economy
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: thinking critically
Self-Direction: academic development, personal growth
Tech Skills: evaluating media messages
- Price: $1.99/week subscription
- Pricing structure: Free to Try
- Release date: February 20, 2017
- Category: Education
- Size: 12.90 MB
- Publisher: playBac
- Version: 1.2
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later
For kids who love news and activism
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.