DOGO News

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

Interactive, kid-friendly news source gives kids the scoop.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Sophisticated topics challenge and enlighten kids with real news, not fluff. 

Violence

Generally, story selection avoids violent themes: La Battaglia delle Arance (The Battle of the Oranges)-type stories are common, but editors don't shy away from tricky current events such as the ouster of Ukrainian president Yanukovych.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

On-site ads are relevant and understated.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

News access is registration-free. iDogo accounts ask for nickname, birthday, and a parent's email address if a kid is under 13. For kids over 13, email addresses are collected. The site does not pass personal information to third parties but does collect non-identifiable browsing behaviors.

Parents Need to Know

Dogonews 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 kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • writing clearly
  • discussion
  • presenting to others
  • reading
  • reading comprehension
  • storytelling
  • text analysis
  • vocabulary
  • writing

Science

  • animals
  • engineering
  • astronomy
  • ecosystems
  • weather

Social Studies

  • global awareness
  • government
  • historical figures
  • history
  • power structures
  • citizenship
  • cultural understanding
  • events
  • exploration
  • geography

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

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Article topics encourage fun, learning, and expanded perspectives. More interactive elements and answers to critical-thinking challenges could boost the excitement factor.

Learning Approach

Critical-thinking and comprehension questions, plus definitions and maps, give kids some awesome tools, but it may take a teacher or parent to motivate and frame learning.

Support

More language options would improve the site's already international flavor. It's generally easy to browse and search, but more streamlined categories would make it even easier.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • writing clearly
  • discussion
  • presenting to others
  • reading
  • reading comprehension
  • storytelling
  • text analysis
  • vocabulary
  • writing

Science

  • animals
  • engineering
  • astronomy
  • ecosystems
  • weather

Social Studies

  • global awareness
  • government
  • historical figures
  • history
  • power structures
  • citizenship
  • cultural understanding
  • events
  • exploration
  • geography

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

Kids can learn about culturally important current and historical events or have a little fun with articles on quirky topics such as Pi(e) Day, artists performing on a giant hamster wheel, and International Happiness Day. Submitting their own articles based on the Dogonews model could help kids develop writing and journalism skills such as the ability to write snappy headlines, concise and direct language, and an understanding of news from a kid's perspective. Clearer recognition for contributors and answers to challenges tied to a more effective point system might better motivate kids. Still, overall, independent Dogonews consistently brings the world to kids through solid content and plentiful learning opportunities.

This Learning Rating review was written by Leslie Crenna

Parents say

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Review this title!

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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.

Website details

Genre:Civic Engagement
Pricing structure:Free

This review of DOGO News was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byfirefly2002 October 25, 2014
 
LEARNING

Current Events

For any child who has to do current events in school this is a great site. It gives interesting topics for both boy and girl. It also gets straight to the point, but gives enough information. I used in 6th grade and still use it now when i need to.
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