flexible learning

Studying online can be especially daunting for both students and their parents, especially as every student has their own unique way of learning. That’s why here at Skwirk we try to make online learning as fun and as flexible as possible, so your student has access to every section of each chapter straight away and doesn’t need to unlock particular items to access the content that best helps them learn. And this week, we’ve made it even easier to access every video, game, assessment, animation, quiz and eBook through a brand new layout to suit each and every student’s learning style.

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The Skwirk Student Dashboard View

Every Skwirk chapter is divided up into easy-to-navigate sections for each content type: Read It, Watch It, Play It & Prove It. Do you have a student who is a visual or aural learner? Spending more time in the Watch It section will definitely help here. What about a logical learner or a student who loves learning through games? The Play It section will be where you want to look. By using each of the approaches to learning across all our chapters, your student is more likely to retain the information and have fun doing so.

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1. Read It

Here is where your child or student can access the text content written specifically for their year level by Australian teachers to introduce them to the subject material for that chapter. They will be also able to see pictures along the side which are referenced in the text to visualise the concepts. Have them read this material carefully as it will help form a base to answer questions in the corresponding games and quizzes later in the chapter!

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An example of the Read It section in the new Skwirk (Year 3 Science: Natural Resources)

 2. Watch It

This section is especially helpful for our visual learners – we’ve packed all the images, videos and animations we can find on the topic into one section so you child or student can use more senses in their learning journey. Our animations and videos are especially helpful in providing a quick overview of the chapter and have native Australian speakers and language directed specifically for the year level the content is addressing.

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An example of the new Watch It section (Year 5 English: Language Variation and Change)

3. Play It

Games time! Our games are all designed for children to work through concepts in a fun and engaging way, and in many cases make them forget they are learning at all.

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The new Skwirk Play It section (Year 4 Maths: Times Tables 2-12)

4. Prove It

The Prove It section is where children can directly test their knowledge learnt throughout the other Skwirk sections. It’s also a great tool to affirm what your child has learnt in class earlier that day or as a recap on a particular topic. Here you will find cloze passages, spelling tests, quizzes and assessments. Our Prove It section is designed in a way that students will achieve 100% of their progress points when they get at least 50% of the answers correct, and they can go back and complete the Prove It as many times as they like to improve upon their scores.

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The new Skwirk Prove It section (Year 6 HASS: Global connections)

So, how can your student or child benefit from the new Skwirk?

Apart from being easier to navigate and being able to see their results immediately, the key benefit in using Skwirk is the ability for your child to work through the content in the way that best suits their learning style. Research shows that a child is far more likely to retain information when presented in forms that engage different senses, and so by Reading it, Watching it, Playing it and Proving it you and your child can see exactly what kinds of learning works for them and be able to access this content across the entire Australian curriculum of English, Maths, Science, History and Geography.

Stay tuned for Part 2: What are Skwirk Progress Bars and how do I use them?

You can trial Skwirk for FREE today – click here for a parent trial and here for a teacher trial. Happy Skwirking!

Every parent wants their child to do well at school, so it’s good to know that online learning through Skwirk can help to significantly improve grades in a wide range of academic subjects. Whether your child is struggling to keep up and could do with some extra assistance, or is already doing well but wants to aim high, discover below how Skwirk can help them achieve more in an exciting and appealing manner.

High calibre content

When you opt to use Skwirk, you can be confident of accessing more than 16,000 premium learning resources which are closely aligned to the current Australian curriculum. Subjects covered include English, Maths, Science, History and Geography, enabling students to always find topics that are relevant to their needs. The content is regularly updated, providing excellent materials to inspire and stimulate learning.

Assessment as well as learning

In addition to plenty of fresh, interesting learning material, Skwirk also includes comprehensive assessment material that enables students to consolidate their learning and check their grasp of a particular subject area. Quizzes, questions and tasks can be completed online, or printed off to provide valuable revision material at a later date. Progress updates are generated each week and emailed to parents or teachers, providing useful feedback on what is being achieved and where further assistance may be needed. This ensures that 1-1 teaching time or tutoring can be effectively targeted to where it is most needed.

Engaging formats

Skwirk’s fresh approach to curriculum material engages users and invites them to find out more. Video clips, photos and animation provide a cutting-edge visual experience which many students find absolutely irresistible. The site is easy to navigate, tempting many students to extend their learning to cover new material. The differentiated nature of Skwirk challenges children of all abilities, gently pushing them towards fresh challenges. Children who find it difficult to concentrate in a classroom situation often thrive when they’re able to use Skwirk to enhance their learning.

Focus on problem areas

Often, if a child doesn’t grasp a concept first time round, there’s only limited time during the school day to go over it again or provide the necessary support for the material to be successfully mastered. Because Skwirk can be used independently, students can spend time going over areas of difficulty until they’ve managed them successfully. Skwirk is available anywhere that there is an internet connection, so students can study at home, at the library, on public transport or in a child care setting.

Skwirk not only provides an entertaining and attractive option for learning new material, it also has a powerful part to play in helping students improve on their weaker areas. The close correlation between Skwirk and the curriculum means it’s easy to find relevant material to reinforce what’s being learned at school, providing a seamless learning transition between home and the classroom. Skwirk provides an effective learning aid which can noticeably improve a child’s educational attainment as well as offer an entertaining and attractive online resource.

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.

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.

Long gone are the dreary days of ‘chalk and talk’. We now know that the limited teaching strategies of old simply don’t work for all students. To instil a life-long love of learning in students, we need to introduce subject matter in a way that’s vibrant, interesting, inspiring and interactive. What’s more, each student’s particular needs and learning style must be taken into consideration – whether they’re learning the English curriculum or the science curriculum.

Teaching to inspire

That said, it’s one thing to acknowledge that modern students need exciting learning experiences; it’s quite another to make it happen. So how does a teacher make sure that students are not only learning, but also enjoying it?

Well, for a start, it’s crucial to find a point of real-life interest. Say, for example, a student is struggling with learning the maths curriculum. For many people, rows of abstract numbers don’t mean much. But put them into a context – whether that be counting money, for those interested in shopping, or counting waves, for those who love the beach, and the entire picture changes.

That’s why, here at Skwirk, we’ve put time and effort into developing online education resources that appeal to students at their points of interest. We’ve created more than 18,000 teaching tools that make sure students are engaged and that learning is a joy – rather than a gruelling task.

Meeting a range of learning needs

There’s been ample research to prove that there’s more than one way of learning. Some students remember facts, ideas and skills best when they’re presented visually. Others learn best by getting active. We know that simply giving kids textbooks and asking them to read, take notes and memorise, doesn’t work for everyone. So, in addition to making sure students are interested, teachers must give them access to a variety of learning strategies.

Again, this is where Skwirk comes in. Name an education tool – such as iPad resources, interactive whiteboard resources and education videos – and you’ll find it on the Skwirk site. What’s more, all teacher resources are produced with the Australian curriculum in mind. Skwirk covers every aspect of the national curriculum, from the history curriculum to the science curriculum.

From Movies to Shakespeare

No need to spend hours making PPPT’s or searching for info on film techniques or background to Elizabethan Theatre…How you ask? SKWIRK! It’s done.

As a very busy English teacher I can speak first hand at how Skwirk has saved me hours of time a week. I know longer have to spend time going through my own collection of resources that are from 100’s of different places or creating resources for each topic. Skwirk has it at the touch of a button. I have access to notes on Shakespeare in general, then specific texts like Romeo and Juliet. It doesn’t stop there, I have access to notes, tests and summaries on topics like poetry, film, alliteration, reading and essay skills. There is not only great notes for students to use but animations, tests and interactive activities available as well.

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Skwirk breaks down English between Skills and Texts. If you are teaching a skill set, like film, where the students need to make notes on something like camera angles. On Skwirk, you click on the link (yes it’s that simple) and at your fingertips you will find content on different techniques with an image to show students exactly what they are looking at, along with animations for elements like camera movement. All the resources are linked to the national curriculum so you know exactly which content descriptors and achievements standards you are covering.

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Who has time to create notes for half of what we cover? That’s where I found Skwirk beyond helpful! There are notes, which are easy to print or display for students to make their own notes (which you can also personalise to expand or simplify for each class). It allowed me more time for marking and the students loved it! If they missed a class or notes they could login and access without any hassles in their own time. No more digging for notes that a single students missed 2 weeks ago while still trying to prep for the lesson that has already started! I honestly LOVE Skwirk. I cannot wait for new resources they continually add.

Teachers can get 25% off an individual teacher subscription during March with the discount code ‘teaching’. Click here to get going.

Natasha, Secondary English Teacher