Website review by Vanessa Aranda, Common Sense Education | Updated July 2020

DOGO News

Kid-friendly news site enriched by reader supports, timely topics

Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 3 reviews
Privacy rating
88%| Warning Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
3–10
Subjects & Skills
English Language Arts, Social Studies, Critical Thinking
Great for

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Pros: Timely news articles offer age-appropriate platform for current events discussions, complete with a sports page and reading support to boost appeal.

Cons: Videos don't consistently have captions, and if teachers can't spring for the Pro subscription, they'll miss out on cool extras like Spanish translation.

Bottom Line: Teachers looking to fuse current events with reading development can rely on this kid-friendly news site, but cool extras carry a price tag.

DOGO News features a classroom management system that connects with Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, and Clever. Teachers can use this system to easily direct students to specific materials. Barring that, articles include an embed code teachers can use on class websites. DOGO News has a ton of content, so teachers might opt to assign some materials but then let students choose to read what they want when they don't have any specific assignments. 

The listening feature would work well in both whole-class and individual scenarios. For an entire classroom, teachers can project an article as it's being read, taking advantage of the helpful highlights emphasizing each word as it's read aloud. Students can also listen independently, so they can pause or listen again if needed. A fun perk is getting to choose the narrator voice, each with a slightly different accent or intonation. After listening, students can research additional information and create a short podcast or newscast in small groups. For Spanish classes, the listening and podcasts or newscasts can all be done in Spanish.

A toolbar to the left of each articles has some useful features, especially the citation generator. With this feature, students can generate citations in different formats, which will work well for a research assignment. Since students will have the citations formatted already, teachers can instead focus instruction on skills like annotation, helping prepare students for competitions like National History Day or major research projects in college. The online comment sections are also a cool way to encourage students to get civically engaged, and teachers can combine this with digital citizenship lessons to encourage responsible commenting.

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DOGO News is a web-based source for articles on current events. Articles can be searched in grade chunks from K-12 but will most likely engage upper elementary and tweens the most. Content ranges from serious to silly and is broken out into current events, science, social studies, world, environment, sports, video, and fun. Articles are several paragraphs long, and spiced up every few paragraphs with an image, infographic, or video.

Quizzes and questions that can be assigned online or printed are included for each article with the Pro subscription. These help assess reading comprehension, critical thinking, vocabulary and parts of speech, and general content. While the assessment questions are a good starting base, teachers will want to develop further questions or activities to get students thinking more deeply. Articles also feature comments sections where students can discuss what they've read and perhaps think more critically. Spanish options in the Pro subscription transform DOGO News into a truly bilingual site that goes beyond article text translation. There's Spanish narration for all articles, and assignments are in Spanish too. Combine this with the way the listening mode highlights the sentence as it's read, and you have useful supports for Spanish-speaking ELLs. The videos and text within infographics, however, aren't translated. In terms of equity, there are also offline resources available for purchase, which could be helpful for homeschool or for families without computer access at home.

DOGO News offers strong content variety, making it useful for various subjects from science and Spanish to social studies and language arts. Pretty much any class that regularly integrates or wants to increase use of scholarly current events, research skills, or Spanish can find an article that'll pique students' interest. And since the site is regularly updated, classrooms can return to DOGO News through the year and make it a core part of their curriculum.

DOGO is one of many student- or kid-focused news sites, but what's special about it is its combination of regular updates and supports for readers. Every DOGO News article features multiple strong visuals (maps, infographics, photos, or videos). These help to enhance the content and encourage students to continue reading and understand what they've read. Videos are short and tend to be interesting, but they may or may not have captions, since they're curated from various other outlets. There are also bolded key terms that students can click on to get a dictionary excerpt. The standout support feature, though, is the audio feature that reads text aloud and highlights the text. This feature is available in both English and Spanish. A feature like this is commonly found in more robust e-readers but not in news sites. Other premium features, like the ready-to-go assessments, serve multiple purposes. They're efficient comprehension checks as well as grammar and vocabulary builders. The critical-thinking challenge is a good reminder to students to push beyond recall, but these are limited to one question per article, which some teachers may find lacking.

The articles themselves cover a wide range of topics and feature a healthy amount of diversity, including representation from different cultures and global contexts. Unlike some competitors, DOGO News also has articles that dig into controversial or challenging political topics like police brutality and reform. Teachers should note, however, that while these articles are written by professional writers, the writers aren't necessarily journalists.

Overall Rating

Engagement

Site extras like user profiles, article audio, videos, and comments draw students into timely topics. The questions and quizzes might make things feel too traditional. Design isn't up to par with some competitors'.

Pedagogy

It's easy to connect students with age-appropriate current events content and discussion. The Spanish-language support expands its reach. It's up to the teacher, however, to embed more rigor and critical thinking.

Support

Translation and audio supports help ELLs and Spanish speakers. Articles have definitions and strong visuals. Closed captioning isn't universal. It'd be useful for teachers to offer feedback on discussion.


Common Sense reviewer
Vanessa Aranda Classroom teacher

Community Rating

(See all 3 reviews) (3 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Missy F. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
J.C. Booth Middle School
Peachtree City, United States
DOGO News is Great!
I really enjoy DOGO News because there the website will read the article to the students. The read aloud voice isn’t great, but the students really enjoy having it read to them. The students also really enjoy the video that goes along with each article. The best part about the website is that it is great for advanced learners as well as ELL and special education students because they can choose to have it read to them. There are also activities for the students at the end of each lesson.
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Users can create or upload content.
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Data are not shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
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