Review by Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2016
Get it now

News-2-You

Get it now

Draw kids into weekly news with powerful symbols and voice narration

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Skills
  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
2-6
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (1 Review)

Take a look inside

5 images

Pros: Easy-to-understand symbols and voice options maximize accessibility.

Cons: Some article content, such as that about recent movies, has a limited shelf life.

Bottom Line: Students can expand literacy skills, learn about the world, and get involved with discussion questions and activities.

Students can read the News-2-You stories alone, with their own unique voice, reading preferences, and literacy level set to their individual user account. Or teachers can read them to the entire class, repeating words, phrases, or main ideas that may be new or difficult. Discuss the articles together afterward, or allow students to work through the supplemental materials such as jokes and questions individually, according to what interests them.

The recipes can be a great idea for a classroom-wide activity, and the jokes (along with their symbolic explanations) can help spark discussions about double meanings in words and other quirks in the English language that may be difficult for some kids to conceptualize. Sudoku and other puzzles are also good individual, quiet-time classroom activities for students.

Continue reading Show less

News-2-You is a symbols-based newspaper for special-needs students available as an iOS app or on the web. News-2-You incorporates the symbols system SymbolStix (also used in the augmentative and alternative communication app Proloquo2Go), along with audio voice narration. A new edition arrives in the online library for every week of the typical U.S. school year, and it covers popular current events topics such as movies, sports, holidays, and environmental issues, many of which are aligned with Common Core standards. In addition to the articles, you'll find recipes, jokes, games, puzzles, related comprehension questions, and more. Teachers can purchase single issues ($1.99 each) or a subscription to all the issues ($54.99 per year) and share them with some or all students, via multiple user accounts.

Once you've downloaded an edition to an iPad, the first page appears with a headline and an article in symbols and words. Tap the headline and see the 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. Tap on one, and the app flips to that page. Teachers can customize News-2-You for each student, changing the voice to male or female, slower, faster, higher, or deeper. There are also four reading levels from Simplified to Advanced.

Continue reading Show less

News-2-You is a remarkable way to help kids with special needs expand literacy skills, learn about the world, and get involved in the topics with discussion questions and activities. Along with Proloquo2Go, it's a powerhouse combo that can help all kids develop comprehension skills and express themselves. 

Social studies, current events, and other newsy tidbits are brought to life for beginning readers and students with special needs. The symbols-based and voice-supported articles allow you to make adjustments to fit a student's unique needs. Since most kids love categorizing and organizing, this symbol 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. This one-of-a-kind, accessible, useful resource may also be helpful for kids who don't like reading about current events but love symbol systems.

Continue reading Show less
Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

The symbols system (the same one used in the augmentative and alternative communication app Proloquo2Go) helps make learning about news fun for most kids.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

As students complete the extension activities and answer discussion questions, they gain cultural awareness and deepen their understanding of each kid-friendly topic. 

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Great extension activities and customizable voice settings help students learn at their own pace, in their own way. The app succeeds in making news accessible and enjoyable for students with learning differences.


Teacher Reviews

(See all 1 reviews) (1 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Parker O. , Special education instructor
Special education instructor
Mary Cariola Childrens Center
Rochester, NY
Current Events for All Students

My students love reading News-2-You in the classroom. It is a newspaper that they can better understand and full of topics which keep my students engaged. The biggest issue was the amount of paper used. Also, I only had a small computer in my room for the nonreaders to crowd around. With this app, News-2-You improved the voices that read the newspaper, added a feature where it will read a single sentence if you tap it instead of the whole page and the end of paper games are interactive! Two aspects of the app I don't like are that it only gives you the regular version of the paper and that you can't split up the sections of the newspaper (there are certain parts I take out depending on my group). I really feel that this app improved the overall learning in my classroom and helped many of my students become more independent when working in a group setting since they didn’t have to ask for help as much.

Read full review