News-2-You

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
News-2-You App Poster Image
One-of-a-kind tool uses symbols to make news accessible.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about kid-friendly topics relevant to current events, geography, animals, science, and social studies, as well as related to vocabulary. Kids can also explore the articles' topics from different angles with the extension activities Kids new to these symbols will also learn them, adding an element of learning how words and ideas are organized into a symbols system.

Ease of Play

Very easy to use, especially for kids who are already using Proloquo2Go and who will recognize the symbols. Even for kids new to the symbols, the symbols are clear, and the voice recordings and kid-friendly topics create a very accessible newspaper experience. Options include different male and female voices, voice personalization (deep, normal, high), rate of speech, pronunciations, and speaking content by word or by complete sentence.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

While the app is free, users have to purchase each newspaper edition for $1.99 or an annual subscription for $49.99. Some brand names and media titles are mentioned in articles.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that News-2-You is the app version of a symbols-based newspaper for kids with special needs. It includes the symbols system and voices used in the augmentative and alternative communication app Proloquo2Go. The app benefits kids who have difficulty reading the written word. Picture symbols and voice help kids hear and see text and visuals. There's a new edition for every week of the typical U.S. school year, and it covers current events topics like popular movies, sporting events, holidays, environmental issues, and more. The app is free but each newspaper edition is a $1.99 in-app purchase; an annual subscription is $54.99. Recent editions include main topics like "World Series," "Hurricane Season," and "M&M's Birthday." In addition to the articles, you can find recipes, jokes, games, puzzles, related comprehension questions, and more. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your information is collected and shared.

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What's it about?

Choose one of the editions of NEWS-2-YOU to download from the main list. The first page appears with symbols and words. Tap the headline and see words highlighted and underlined as they're spoken, or press the play tab at the bottom of the screen and the entire page plays automatically. Tap on the right arrow to move to the next page, and so on. A list icon connects users to all options in that edition (a recipe, joke, games, discussion questions, and more). Tap on one, and the app flips to that page. Choose from four reading levels to vary the complexity of text and number of symbols.

Is it any good?

This special tool brings current events and other newsy tidbits to kids through an easy-to-understand system of symbols and voice recordings, which you can adjust to fit your kid's unique needs. Since many kids love categorizing and organizing, this symbols system provides structure and predictability to words and ideas presented in the news stories. News-2-You may seem pricey, but its content is substantial and fun. Extra extension activities like recipes, jokes (not always easy to explain in terms of symbols, but this app does it), games, discussion questions and more, elevate this weekly news app to a truly one-of-a-kind, accessible, useful resource for kids with special needs, kids who are struggling with reading, and for kids who may not like reading about current events but love symbol systems. Along with Proloquo2Go, it's a powerhouse combo that can help all kids learn about current events, develop comprehension skills, and express themselves.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the list of editions in News-2-You and start with one that is most aligned with your kid's current interest.

  • Encourage your kid to choose one of the extension activities related to the article, such as a recipe or discussion questions, and complete it with your kid.

  • Encourage kids to answer "WH" questions from the article they have read.

  • Have kids write 2-3 sentences about the story.

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, reading, reading comprehension, vocabulary
    Social Studies: cultural understanding, events, geography
    Hobbies: cooking, sports
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: solving puzzles
  • Price: $1.99 per newspaper; $54.99 per year
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: December 6, 2015
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 273.00 MB
  • Publisher: AssistiveWare
  • Version: 2.1
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.3 or later

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