Australian curriculum

When a student spends time with a teacher, not a minute should be wasted. A top shelf education should focus on inspiring the student’s imagination and learning important skills. That’s what ‘flipping the classroom’ is all about.

But what, exactly, do those three words mean? No doubt, you’ve heard them bandied about the place for quite a few years now. Flipping the classroom has become a popular concept.

To bring it back to basics, the idea is that when students first encounter new material, this should happen outside the classroom. Their classroom time should then be spent on doing the harder bit – actually absorbing the material into the student’s stock of knowledge and learning the skills associated with it.

This approach to flexible learning has a few major advantages. For a start, it makes sure that when children are exposed to new subject matter, they discover it in the most interesting and inspiring ways possible. It gives them the chance to get lost in stories and to imagine possibilities, instead of immediately thinking about comprehension questions, memorising and textbooks. Imagine trying to read your favourite novel, with a teacher interrupting you every five pages, asking you to answer questions! The spell would soon be broken.

There are loads of options for presenting new material. These include videos, books, interactive software, fun games, recreational activities… the list goes on and on. At Skwirk, we love seeing the positive results that come about when teachers flip the classroom, which is why we stock thousands and thousands of elearning resources, presenting subjects in innovative and exciting ways.

Secondly, once students have developed a personal interest in new material, they are far more likely to be engaged when it comes to classroom time. They’ll be heading to lessons brimming over with questions, ideas and possibilities. And, as we all know, we’re far more likely to remember a lesson if we’ve really enjoyed taking part in it.

Thirdly, when teachers flip the classroom, they have more time for what really matters. After all, a teacher’s job isn’t to press a button on a DVD player or read aloud. A teacher is there to impart higher level skills to their students and provide them with challenges. If students spend their own time familiarising themselves with new material, they can use their lessons to their full advantage – asking questions, synthesising ideas, learning to write essays and compositions, and developing an understanding of how the new material they’ve learnt fits into their wider perspective on the world.

One useful way of thinking about it is through the application of Bloom’s taxonomy. Bloom’s taxonomy can be displayed in the shape of a pyramid, where skills are placed in order of difficulty. At the bottom is memorising, then understanding, then applying, then analysing, then evaluating, then, finally, creating. All of these are necessary – after all, it’s pretty hard to create anything if you can’t remember anything. But it’s the higher ones that are harder to learn and it’s in mastering them that a student really needs a teacher. When a teacher introduces flexible learning and flips, they make them a priority.

Our Content Manager Katie Lowson explains how the team decided which areas of the curriculum to target when creating the new resources:
G’day Skwirkers, 
 
What a busy few weeks it’s been! We really wanted to give you some fantastic new resources for the new term so we worked against the clock while you were on holidays to put together a load of new content. 
 
At Skwirk we’re passionate about supporting the Australian Curriculum in its quest to enhance intercultural understanding and provide students with the tools and language to engage with and better understand their world at a range of levels. With this in mind, and after receiving feedback from students & teachers keen for more resources in this area, we decided we’d make this our focus for new content to start the term. 
 
So, take a look! Here are a few links to just some of what we’ve published this week:
 
Visit our K-2 English section and navigate through the ‘Literature and Context’ unit then the Texts are Created by Authors’ topic to view these animations: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Stories and There are Storytellers in All Cultures!. They are designed to support learning for ACELT1575.
Visit our K-2 English section and navigate through the Talking and Listening’ unit then the Languages spoken in Australia’ topic to view this animation: Languages of Australia. It’s designed to support learning for ACELA1426. 
Visit our years 3&4 English section and navigate through the Speaking and Listening’ unit, the ‘Australian Languages’ topic then then the ‘Australian Accents and Dialects’ chapter to view this animation: Our Aussie Accent!It’s designed to support learning for ACELA1487.
Visit our years 5&6 English section and navigate through the Speaking and Listening’ unit, the ‘Australian Languages’ topic then the ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages’ chapter to view this animation: Languages of Australia. It’s designed to support learning for ACELA1515.
 
If you’re using an old version of Internet Explorer I suggest updating it to Internet Explorer 11 or switching to Chrome to view these beautiful resources. 
It’s been a huge privilege to work with such talented teachers, curriculum specialists and animators to produce them! 
 
As always, feedback is much appreciated. Tell us what you want!
Over the coming weeks our Content Team will be working to produce more exciting new resources for primary maths and English, and some extra special science animations to promote Science Week!
Get a trial to Skwirk today, click here

A quick search for “online educational resource” will reveal hundreds of different sites, each making impressive claims about their credibility and results. One of the biggest challenges parents face when trying to find a suitable site to assist their children with learning is deciding which one will be best. At Skwirk we understand how difficult that choice can be, which is why we’ve summarised the key reasons parents in Australia and overseas are opting to use us in order to enhance their children’s education. Read on to discover five clear advantages Skwirk brings to e-learning.

Well presented content

Nothing turns kids off a site faster than reams of text! With years of experience in the education field, our team ensures that the information you’ll find on Skwirk is conveyed in a way that children find enormously appealing. Pictures, videos, animation and advanced graphics provide an engaging, flexible learning experience that fuses fun with learning wonderfully well.

All in one place

Children may demand information on anything from multiplication to marine life, so parents need to be prepared! Skwirk contains over 16,000 resources on a wide range of topics, all in one safe, easily accessible place. This saves a considerable amount of time, as there’s no need to spend hours trawling the net and library to find suitable resources. In addition, Skwirk is designed to be user friendly, enabling children as young as four to independently navigate to topics of interest.

Relevant to the current Australian curriculum

A major problem with online research can be verifying the reliability of the information you find. The answer is to use Skwirk as a convenient, all-encompassing solution. All the Skwirk resources are regularly checked to ensure they remain accurate and up to date. Topics are closely tied to the Australian curriculum and include numeracy, literacy, science, French, geography, history and more. This makes Skwirk an ideal homework resource as well as a great study aid.

Parental feedback

A regular emailed update of children’s progress enables parents to quickly assess how much learning their child is undertaking. Skwirk contains not only factual information, but also a selection of testing and assessment resources. These allow children to see whether they’ve understood a topic, as well as providing an assessment tool for parents, home educators and tutors.

Versatile

Skwirk can be used anywhere there’s internet access and adapts well to a tablet in addition to a PC. It’s suitable for children of all abilities and intended for ages four to 14. Skwirk can be used for homework help, revision, general interest, extended learning, differentiated learning and assessment. Many children find it so interesting they’ll even use Skwirk just for entertainment!

Skwirk is a well-established company with a significant track record in providing premium online education assistance to Australian children of all ages and abilities that enhances their learning. Relevant, engaging, adaptable and fun, it’s little wonder that with so many benefits, thousands of parents have decided to make Skwirk a valuable part of their child’s learning experience.

Parents – grab a free trial today. Click here.

The school students of today are undoubtably facing a different education environment than the one that confronted their parents. The introduction of substantive curriculum changes over recent years can make it challenging for parents and caregivers to understand what their children are studying. This mystery around the contents of children’s study can mean that many parents are concerned about how to best support their kids. There is now a straightforward and easy to access resource that parents and caregivers can trust to help students make the most of their education. That resource is called Skwirk.

Skwirk is an interactive, online learning portal designed for students from reception to year 10. This award winning education system was established in 2005 and started out as a way of helping students with their homework. Teachers soon realised the benefits of the Skwirk method and it has now grown to provide resources for students, parents, teachers and schools. Skwirk covers subjects including maths, English, science, geography, history and commerce. The team behind Skwirk have responded to the need for a service that acknowledges different learning styles and it does that effectively by using diverse study tools including videos, worksheets, animations, assessments and more. The flexibility within Skwirk ensures that the resources are relatable for children and young people and, even more than that, the students actually want to use it.

The carefully prepared tools within Skwirk offer a number of benefits for students. The range of subjects that Skwirk covers ensures that the time that would usually be spent searching and juggling multiple resources is used productively. It is designed to reflect how children and young people like to learn, making it less of a chore for them. Furthermore, students using Skwirk to assist with their revision can also earn points through assessments and assignments, thereby competing for rankings with students from around the country. This element of competition can engage even the most reluctant student.

The benefits are not just for the students however. This is a learning portal that parents can have confidence in. Skwirk is 10 years old and has, from its inception, prioritised the importance of being a safe online presence. Students can freely use the site without parents needing to have any concerns. Not only is Skwirk a safe place for students to spend time but it is also a cost-effective service. Skwirk users pay only $99 to have all core subjects in one place. Parents receive regular email reports and updates, ensuring they can monitor the topics being studied and progress being made.

Skwirk is a very easy education community to become part of. Parents, schools, students and teachers can simply visit www.skwirk.com.au to learn more about the services offered and sign up for a free trial. There are easy website links to turn that free trial into longer-term enrolment.

Skwirk offers a robust, responsive and practical way for families to take control of their education needs. Join an education revolution and become a Skwirker today!

A growing number of teachers across Australia are finding that the internet not only provides a useful medium for accessing relevant information, but helps many students to engage more fully with learning. Skwirk, an online education site that offers premium content on most subjects in the Australian curriculum, is a popular choice for many schools. One of the biggest advantages of Skwirk is its versatility. If you’re new to using IT extensively as part of your lesson delivery, take a look at five ways that other teachers across the country are utilising this exciting resource.

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When your school has a traditional computer lab, Skwirk provides an ideal solution to the problem of providing a single online resource that’s suitable for every pupil in the class. Because information is presented in a number of different ways (text, videos, pictures and animations), differentiation is straight-forward. It’s also ideal for individual learning, enabling each student to enjoy a resource that meets their specific needs.

Interactive whiteboards

A great toScreen shot 2014-10-28 at 12.41.50ol for group learning, whole class teaching and plenary activity, interactive whiteboards can be a forum for using Skwirk resources to bring enrichment into learning. The site is easy to navigate and training for teachers is provided, so there are no worries about wasting time accessing the information you need for smooth lesson delivery.

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The clear, relevant worksheets that can be downloaded from Skwirk offer a perfect method of extending and reinforcing whole class learning. The worksheets are ideal as a homework assignment, or can be used for revision. Some teachers prefer to flip the classroom and ask students to research a topic on Skwirk at home, then come to class to discuss their findings and complete a worksheet to reinforce their out of school studies.

iPads and tablets
Kid on tablet
Whether you want to reward individual learners or provide an engaging small group activity, the use of iPads or tablets in the classroom works well with any pedagogy. Interactive screens are a larger part of many children’s lives, so using them for learning is frequently more effective than more traditional methods. Particularly in core subjects such as numeracy and literacy, Skwirk’s appealing format encourages study, even in children who usually find such tasks a challenge.

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Class assignments

As it’s so versatile, Skwirk is a fantastic option for assignments in the classroom or at home. Revision, independent learning, fresh study or reinforcement can all be easily undertaken through the site. Regular emails on pupil progress can let you see whether learning is taking place when online work is set. If you want to add some fresh, exciting options to your repertoire of assignment methods, Skwirk can provide them.

With so many different choices for relevant, flexible and curriculum linked learning, many teachers across Australia and overseas already rely on Skwirk heavily to enrich the learning experience they offer their pupils. Delivering premium educational content that supports the Australian curriculum for four to 14-year olds, Skwirk is the online provider of choice for many successful schools. Grab a free class trial today, click here.

Computers are now an integral part of school life across the majority of Australia, but are they being used as effectively as possible? Whilst the majority of schools house a “computer lab” or similar facility, is it the case that this is fulfilling the potential that information technology has to transform the education of thousands of children? Compared to the rest of the world, how does Australia perform when it comes to integrating online learning with the education system?

International leader

Australia is well-recognised as pioneering computer use in schools, to the extent that seven out of eighty schools selected for Microsoft’s prestigious Worldwide Innovative Schools Programme were located in this country. Schools are required to have adequate IT provision on site and many children use Information Technology regularly to enhance their learning.

Barriers still exist

Unfortunately, despite the widespread IT provision that exists, there are still a number of factors that can prevent children getting the maximum benefit from IT resources. Static computers may be awkwardly located for timely, appropriate use, or Australian teachers may not have the technical expertise to use them optimally. Particularly when it come to seamlessly integrating IT into the Australian curriculum, some staff struggle due to insufficient training. These barriers are common to many countries where IT usage is widespread.

Schools are responding pro-actively

Learning from global best practice in education, Australian schools have robust strategies to overcome these issues and ensure that our education system remains one of the most technologically advanced in the world. Tablets are now used widely and many schools are opting for online educational resource sites that are easy to use and frequently offer additional training for teachers in using them for maximal benefit.

Australian schools continue to feature regularly in the higher ranks of numerous statistical collations that compare educational performance between countries. A keen appreciation of the benefits that information technology can bring to students, coupled with a willingness to overcome any challenges that restrict IT usage, results in a school system that welcomes new technology and engages fully in ensuring students enhance their learning through this medium.

It’s no secret that Australian public schools are under-funded and under-resourced. Hard working teachers and principals all over the country work to bring a high-quality education to millions of students, despite the lack of support. What’s more, teachers are coming under increasing pressure to meet a diverse range of learning needs and styles, deliver innovative lessons and prepare students for complex jobs. Even the most hard-working, talented, experienced teachers can find themselves under extreme stress.

Why reinvent the wheel?

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Teachers are using Skwirk across multiple platforms.

That’s where Skwirk comes in. We know that, between delivering lessons, marking, assessments and keeping parents happy, teachers and principals have their work cut out for them. So we thought we might help. We’ve developed a truly enormous range of online education tools and teacher resources, in order to help Australia’s educators save both money and time. Our site contains more than 18,000 classroom-ready resources – from iPad resources to interactive whiteboard resources to education videos. Literally years and years of educational expertise and experience have gone into their development.

Teaching the Australian curriculum

All the main subject areas of the Australian curriculum are covered – from the English curriculum and the history curriculum to the maths curriculum and the science curriculum. Students of all ages – from kindergarten level to Year 10 – are taken care of.

Thousands of resources in one location

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Boomerang Maths – One of over 1000 interactive games.

Whether you’re a secondary principal who wants to help teachers across a range of faculties or a primary teacher who needs to address numerous subject areas every day, Skwirk can come in really handy. Rather than having to subscribe to several different sites, you only need one account, and you’ll find everything you need at your fingertips.

All resources are well organised, not only according to subject areas, but according to topics, too. Whether teachers need to explain the intricate details of the Australian federal parliament or how to categorise the country’s native flora and fauna, there are complete unit plans available. Lessons are supplemented with rigorous assessment and reporting tools, so teachers can keep a close eye on students’ progress and provide supplementary lessons whenever necessary.

Meeting a range of teaching and learning strategies

We know that students learn in a variety of ways. And that’s why Skwirk has resources covering a range of strategies – whether pupils learn best visually or kinaesthetically, there are plenty of options for them, from amazing animations to interactive games. Teachers can mix and match a range of activity styles to best meet the needs of their classes.

Get a Skwirk trial today: Click here

Alternatively get a quote for your school. Email us: teachers@skwirk.com.au

A fresh partnership initiative between the Ronald Macdonald Learning Program and Skwirk, a well-known online education provider, is aiming to feed the minds of  Australian children who are missing out on learning due to serious illness or prolonged hospitalisation.

Currently over a thousand students across the country are benefiting from the Program, which enables children who are falling behind at school due to ill-health to access the Australian curriculum through personal tutoring, advocacy and support. The Learning Program is one of a number of initiatives funded by Ronald Macdonald House Charities. Each Learning Program participant receives a full educational assessment, 40 hours one-on-one teaching with a registered teacher, advocacy and the services of an occupational therapist and physiotherapist. Skwirk is donating free access to its comprehensive online education facility to both teachers and students involved in the Program.

Skwirk provides premium learning content across all main subject areas, giving students between the ages of four and 14 immediate access to over 16,000 learning resources. Information is relayed through a selection of engaging media, so children can learn through videos and animation as well as text and pictures. Skwirk combines information with assessment and the system also automatically sends regular progress updates to tutors, enabling them to form an accurate view of progress.

Being able to use Skwirk as part of the bespoke learning experiences which the Ronald Macdonald Learning Program offers allows students continuity of learning whether they’re in hospital or convalescing at home, minimising the disruption which prolonged absence from school can cause. Verity Gobbett, South Australian State Manger of the Learning Program, commented, “For children on the Learning Program, online resources such as Skwirk are fantastic as school absence rates are high due to hospitalisations, treatments and recovery times.”

It’s not just the children who find Skwirk a useful resource. One tutor from the Learning Program said, “Skwirk is great! I can maximise the efficiency of the one hour session with my Learning Program student by pre-planning lesson content.” Skwirk’s appealing format, clear structure and close links to the Australian national curriculum mean that many teachers find it an excellent option to use as part of a lesson plan or to provide valuable reinforcement to learning as a homework resource.

Skwirk remains committed to providing high-calibre educational material in a convenient format that gives every student the opportunity to benefit from an enriching, rewarding learning experience.

For more information, please visit the Skwirk Website

The iPad was introduced in 2010, providing a compact and highly portable, yet accessible, medium through which to reach the internet, as well as a number of other functions. User numbers have grown significantly in recent years, with iPads being employed not only for work and entertainment, but also as an educational tool. This latter application has provoked considerable controversy, with some experts suggesting that screen use is detrimental to academic success, whilst others feel there are significant benefits to e-learning. Take a look at the benefits an iPad can bring to your child’s education, as well as the advantages of ensuring high quality textbooks are readily available as a learning resource.

Fast, portable and convenient

Unfortunately, textbooks can be heavy and cumbersome to transport. Even using a textbook can be time consuming and frustrating, as finding the information you need is frequently a challenge. In comparison, an iPad is light enough for smaller children to carry easily, can be used anywhere and most learners can find the information they need in a few minutes, making it ideal for flexible learning. A single device is all that’s needed to access comprehensive information on a wide range of subjects. Sites such as Skwirk, for example, contain over 16,000 learning resources, covering curriculum material for four to 14 year-olds.

Range of learning mediums

Textbooks contain writing, diagrams and photographs, but little else. This can make learning a dry process and can often deter children from wanting to find out more about a topic. One of the major advantages of e-learning is that in addition to these methods of conveying information, children can also enjoy video clips and animation, adding interest to the learning experience. Different presentations of the same information allow children to find a method which suits them best, enhancing retention and engagement.

Interactive

Textbooks contain plenty of useful facts and figures, but do not present opportunities for interaction. Conversely an iPad can provide numerous tests, quizzes, assessments and puzzles which encourage learners to remain attentive and retain the information they need. For children who have trouble concentrating, an iPad can work wonderfully well as an aid to study.

Appealing

Those of us who remember the pre-digital age will frequently favour textbooks, as they are familiar – a tried and tested method of obtaining high-calibre information when you need it. Whilst this is still the case, it’s important to recognise that premium, interactive content is frequently a more appealing way of learning for young people. The use of iPads doesn’t negate textbook use; rather it offers a route for accessing information which better suits many young people today, complementing more traditional methods.

Textbooks continue to play a major part in many educational experiences, particularly for advanced learners who need to access niche subject matter. For school aged children, an iPad which gives them access to high quality educational material can be of real benefit in enriching their learning experience in a wide range of subjects.

Skwirk is one of Australia’s biggest providers of online education resources. Following detailed study of the National Australian Curriculum, we have developed more than 18,000 useful tools, including education videos, iPad resources and interactive whiteboard resources. We cover English, mathematics, science, history, geography and commerce, from kindergarten level through to year 10.

Everything you need in one convenient location

For Australian principals looking to provide their students with outstanding resources, but without breaking the bank, Skwirk can save both money and time. For a start, Skwirk’s easy-to-navigate site means that all resources are found in one, convenient location. Even when accessing teacher resources across a range of subject areas, principals can take care of the job in one fell swoop. There’s no need to waste time trawling through hundreds of different sites, trying to work out which you can and can’t trust. Skwirk’s resources are all designed to meet the Australian curriculum – from the English curriculum to the science curriculum.

Resources for every learner

We’re well aware that students have various learning needs. While some are visual learners, others benefit from kinaesthetic learning. We also believe that students learn best when they’re inspired and interested in their lessons, rather than feeling like they’re a chore.

So we’ve worked hard to develop resources to suit every educational context – and every individual student – from animations that bring the history curriculum to life to sports-themed arithmetic games that ensure your students are learning the maths curriculum without even realising it. Not only does Skwirk make education much more affordable, it also makes it much more relevant, fun and inspiring.

Tools to assess, track progress and report

As much as we believe education should be fun, we’re also serious about it. It’s important for students to have a great time while they’re learning, but it’s equally important for them to make solid progress. So, to accompany our thousands of learning resources, we provide you with efficient, accurate tools for assessment. Once students have completed units, you can use Skwirk to find out exactly what they’ve learnt – and what they need to revise. For schools and principals, this means even further savings; there’s no need to spend extra money on assessment resources created by independent bodies. You’ll have everything you need at your fingertips, once you’ve signed up to Skwirk.

Questions?

Would you like to know more about Skwirk? Are you wondering what we can do for your school? Please feel free to contact us at a time that suits you. We look forward to bringing high-quality, affordable teacher resources to you.

Get a quote for your school, email: teachers@redapple.com.au

Or get a free school trial, click here.