Dogo News Review
DOGO [doh-GOH] means young or small in Swahili; it is the brainchild of Meera Dolasia, the companies CEO, Publisher & Editor. Meera is a CFA as well as having many years of experience in capital management, She was appalled by the limited access to news articles adapted for children and decided to create a news site focused on children of reading age.
The news site address is https://www.dogonews.com/
Today, DOGO Media is an online news service and media company that provides a number of software applications and platforms for enriching children general knowledge and news. The company started out with on-site; DOGO news and developed over time to create a library of children books written by children for children called DOGO books, and DOGO movies which are a library of G, PG or PG-13 moderated movies for children. Apart from these sites, there is iDOGO which is a personalized avatar profile for expressing their opinions about articles on the news site. They also produce DOGO teacher, which is a platform for integrating factual content for school curricula.
What is DOGOnews?
DOGOnews is essentially a news site that presents current issues as well as informative articles on a variety of subjects all suitable to keep children updated to the latest events as well as learn on many subjects. As Meera states, “The goal is to provide a fun, safe and interactive environment for children to read and learn about interesting current events.”
DOGOnews articles are blog packets, they are short and concise, written in style suitable for children to understand core and complex subjects. They are accompanied by images and provide a daily update of data for parents, teachers, and children to share, understand and enjoy.
What does DOGOnews provide?
DOGOnews provides the following functions and features:
- Daily updated for ELA, Science and Social Studies
- Over 3,500 articles published online
- Comprehension, Critical Thinking & Vocab in Context worksheets
- Over 2,500 assignments ready-to-use online
- Sign-in with Google, CLEVER and Office365 accounts
- Post and Share articles to Google Classroom
- Post and Share articles to DOGO class page
- Highlighted Text-to-speech audio
- Integration with Google Classroom
- Vocabulary lists and games
Reviews from the Internet
When I searched the internet for reviews, since I did not want a one-sided review based on my personal opinion, I came across a lot of valuable insight.
Essentially, DOGOnews has more positive reviews than negative ones. In fact, the only negatives were from people that complained about how the content was written. Ap[art from the few naysayers, most of the reviews reflected what I also felt about this site.
What stands out with most reviews are the following pros:
- Current event coverage
- Videos and Articles bring the content to life
- All articles come with questions to “test” the reader’s comprehension of what was read
- A large selection of updated articles backed by 3,500 plus factual articles, providing a good source of general knowledge.
When you enter the site, you are greeted by a standard news layout with an upper menu bar that traverses the screen horizontally, and the search, login icons are located at the top right corner.
There are three main categories in the centered in the top of the screen with News, Books, and Movies as options. The News option allows you to choose from 8 categories and also decide what grade level to read the news. The Book option opens up access to all their library of books (including free books) based on filters and categories as well as reading levels. The Movies option gives the viewer access to the free movies, streaming mode, and reviews of movies.
When logged in the user is transferred to a focused site based on the subscriber’s age and grade.
Under the menu bar are the current articles that you access as you would any news site article, by clicking on the photo or title.
In the article, you get the expanded text version.
There are eight news categories:
- Current Events: The latest articles irrespective of their category
- Science articles arranged by date
- Social Studies: Social Study articles arranged by date
- World: World articles arranged by date
- Environment: Environmental Issue articles arranged by date
- Fun articles arranged by date
- Video Categorized Video Articles arranged by date
- Sports articles arranged by date
The Books section provides access to a large library of books with in-depth reviews and children comments. There are competitions that winners can get a free book, and there is an occasional free book give away.
The Movies section gives access to a large list of movie titles with photos and information as well as reviews and comments. This section also provides competitions where winners can download a movie for free.
DOGOnews can be integrated into a class environment; this is up to the teacher to adapt the integrated news to the grade level of the class. Teachers can basically sign up to two different accounts, the free one that is where you create a personalized DOGO class page and the paid account that gives you access to Google Classroom and all the assignments that are created for this app.
So here goes, I enter the webpage address and click enter. I arrive at the home page; I don’t have an account, I am just reviewing the site and want to be attracted to making a subscription. I look at the buttons, colors, and site and it’s attractive. I want to press more and wander around, see that there is on this site.
I click on current events; I get a load of articles, all well written and informative, as I click on them I get to their article pages and read more. I then click on Science, and hey, I know that photo, I then scroll down and see articles from the Current event here. OK, that understandable, but then I click on Social studies and get the same thing, some articles are different, but most are already in two other categories. I then click the category world and presto, there it is again.
DOGOnews has made the cardinal error of overcategorizing articles, creating a situation where each category is populated by a mixture of shared and new articles. This could be forgiven in a site with loads of articles, but when the first five articles of every category are similar, then it gets to be confusing, and even annoying.
I cannot say this about the Book or Movie section; these are great sections that are managed by their content. However, the news section needs much more variety cross categories. While there might be over 3,500 articles on the site, this is lost on the front page of every category, and the overall impression is a site with little content.
The bottom line: This is a great site with a lot of potentials to be even greater. It has the base to build upon; it needs the content and the content management to make it perfect.