A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that DOGO News opens an enticing window onto world events and thoughtful learning connections. Kids can browse or search for short, punchy articles full of photos and other goodies, selecting grade level or categories such as Science, Sports, Green, or Amazing. Social-media iDogo accounts screen out those under 13 via self-report but give older kids the ability to comment on stories, select favorites, follow others, and be followed. Parents need not worry about safety, as kids are encouraged to use a nickname and a parent's email if they're under 13.
What's it about?
DOGONEWS offers thousands of concise kid-friendly news stories with plentiful photos and occasional videos. It's searchable by five grade categories or 12 content categories ranging from the more serious Social Studies to plain old Fun. Every article is accompanied by relevant academic standards, vocabulary definitions, and geography links, and most are followed by comprehension questions and a critical-thinking challenge. Kids with iDogo accounts can leave comments and engage in some social-media basics, creating their own avatars and following other kids. They also can submit their own news contributions through email.
Is it any good?
Blog-style Dogonews began churning out challenging and insightful articles in 2007. Article topics demonstrate respect for and understanding of kids' perspectives: We're talking fun, sophisticated, and interesting articles -- including research on the five-second rule or a Rubik's cube champion -- but they also cover more serious, expansive topics. Parents and teachers will really dig the plentiful learning tools, such as one-click vocabulary definitions, age-appropriate comprehension questions, critical-thinking challenges, and relevant academic standards.
It can be hard to discern which reviews and articles are written by kids; bylines that include "kid contributor" or some similar title might help. Although materials are categorized from grade K through 8, younger kids will need an adult to read the material and capitalize on learning resources. The Maps tab houses a world tour of geo-located one-paragraph articles that feels really cool at first but can't be paused -- a definite source of frustration for the majority of readers who will not be able to read all the text before the tour shoves off again for another spot on the planet.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how a particular news story affects them: How would a new mobile shower service for the homeless change daily life for those with homes?
Dogonews offers lots of activity ideas for kids and families. Enjoy a homemade sing-along during Earth Hour, or plan one for next year.
- Subjects: Language & Reading: discussion, presenting to others, reading, reading comprehension, storytelling, text analysis, vocabulary, writing, writing clearly
Science: animals, engineering, astronomy, ecosystems, weather
Social Studies: citizenship, cultural understanding, events, exploration, geography, global awareness, government, historical figures, history, power structures
Hobbies: fashion, pets, sports
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, memorization, thinking critically
Creativity: producing new content
Self-Direction: academic development, initiative, personal growth, work to achieve goals
Emotional Development: empathy, perspective taking
Communication: conveying messages effectively, presenting
Responsibility & Ethics: embracing differences, honoring the community
- Genre: Civic Engagement
- Pricing structure: Free