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We’ve just uploaded some great new animations to Skwirk! Check them all out below, you can click on the image to view the video… please remember you’ll need to be logged in to your Skwirk account to view them!

How does the animal move?

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Created for: Foundation year Physical sciences and Year 1 Biological sciences
Aligned to: ACSSU005 and ACSSU017

 

I like the way you move!

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Created for: Year 1 Biological sciences
Aligned to: ACSSU017

 

Water way to make a living

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Created for: Year 1 Biological sciences
Aligned to: ACSSU017

 

Heating and cooling different substances

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Created for: Year 5 Chemical Sciences
Aligned to: ACSSU077

 

What are chemicals?

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Created for: Year 6 Chemical Sciences
Aligned to: ACSSU095

 

Try it at home!

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Created for: Year 6 Chemical Sciences
Aligned to: ACSSU095

 

20 monkeys in a tree

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Created for: Foundation, year, number and place value
Aligned to: ACMNA001

 

Getting change

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Created for: Years 3 and 4 Money and Financial Mathematics
Aligned to: ACMNA059 and ACMNA080

 

Finding fractions of shapes

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Created for: Year 4 Fractions and decimals
Aligned to: ACMNA078

 

Stay tuned for more updates, we’re adding new content to Skwirk all the time!

To start your free Skwirk trial, click on the title below that suits you best:

 

Happy Skwirking!

 

Mother/Writer/Blogger Tara Force discusses using Skwirk for homeschooling

Over the years we’ve used a few different online learning resources but I’m particularly excited about trying something NEW for 2015.

Skwirk has had a make-over and quite frankly, it’s awesome. There is nothing quite like it around at the moment and it has some great functions that work well with homeschooling. It offers some great options for independent learning as kids get older all the way up to year 10 as well as options for younger ones.

As an educational tool it is aligned with the Australian curriculum so if that’s important to you, or you just like to occasionally see where your kids sit in relation to their peers (like I do) this is a good thing.

The subjects it includes are maths, english, science, geography and history.

My plan was to use this for my 5 year old who is ‘technically’ in his first year of school next year. At that age it is all animation based. They can watch videos on certain topics and the interactive activities tell them what to do which is important if they aren’t fluent readers yet.  However, once I learnt about all the things you can do I’m thinking it will be a great resource for encouraging some independent learning for the older kids.

And here’s why…..

You can use the new teacher tool and set their lessons even to the detail of date and time. My kids have a gift of being able to figure out how to avoid lessons and find the games on online programs so this function is great. But they aren’t just set lessons. You can add YouTube clips or other videos and images making it a more exciting and complete lesson. It also gives YOU control over the lesson as you can add to the information there, change it around, cut and paste and highlight important bits. You can also print out or set worksheets if you so desire and even create your own quiz to test knowledge of the topic. I feel this element of control over the information presented makes it appealing for us homeschoolers.

The way that we use online resources in our homeschool is as a supplement to our lessons. I also use it for one child while I work with another. However, this new Skwirk opens up a whole new way to use these resources. You can set lessons for each child for them to complete each day to the length amount you feel is suitable for your child. You can also keep online records of their progress to show your local friendly homeschool inspector (that’s what we call him) when he pops by.

If you are looking for something new for 2015 or hunting for an online learning tool that is different to the other online programs out there then Skwirk is worth a look.

You can currently get 50% off the home educator option with the discount code ‘mummedia’. Click here to get started.

A constant refrain of those who feel that online learning offers more dangers than rewards is that the internet makes access to information too easy, that the information may not be from a reliable sources and that the excess of dubious information and the massive volume of it can lead to not just confusion in students’ minds but also to a reluctance to sift through digital volumes of junk to find what is worthwhile. Often it is easier to accept what is found first and hope that it is accurate and reliable.

A recent survey of teachers on the issue of the internet and how it affects students and their access to information was recently completed in the USA. The finding are very similar to what can be expected in Australia and other developed countries where online censorship does not exist..

Information Access Online

The findings:

  • 99% of teachers surveyed said that the internet gives students access to information that will otherwise not be available.

  • 65% said that the internet makes students more self-sufficient.

  • 83% said that the amount of information available online is overwhelming

  • 76% felt that the internet has conditioned students to accept whatever they find online without question

  • 78% say that students do not have the patience or determination to spend time looking for the best resources.

  • 60% agree that modern technology makes it more difficult for students to find credible information sources.

  • 71% agree that the internet draws students away from other information resources that should not be ignored.

  • 94% say their students depend of Google, Wikipedia and YouTube as the starting points for their information search.

  • 71% feel that students are unable to recognize bias in online content

  • 61% do not rate students highly in their ability to assess the quality of the material they access online. At the same time, 91% say that the ability to discern the true value of the information before them is an essential trait in academic success.

  • 81% spend time helping students to improve their ability to assess  the quality of online information.

  • 71% spend time discussing online search techniques with students.

All this shows one thing very clearly – students have access to online information resources and are not hesitant in utilising what they find. The problem lies in their ability to evaluate the quality of the information they find and make informed decisions on whether to use it or not. An analogy may be drawn with a library containing books without covers or information on the authors. How is a student to decide which ones are worth reading?

The Solution

Obviously there are positives and negatives in the mass of information that students can access over the internet.  Allowing unguided access to the data available online can lead to confusion and information overload. Access to the internet cannot and should not be restricted. The way to overcome this problem is to provide students with access to professionally operated online learning systems, such as Skwirk. This will not replace the need to search for information. But the ease with which knowledge is internalized and the focused way information is presented will teach the students to be more selective and careful about what they garner online. Skwirk has essentially done the hardwork for parents and students when it comes to online resources. Our content is aged and curriculum appropriate, and written by teachers and educators. Sit you children down in front of Google, and you never know what information they may find. Sit them down in front of Skwirk and you know is a safe online learning environment. The improved grades and the time saved will be reward enough for the students to continue with this process. Since today’s children are net savvy and know how to optimize internet usage and resources, the exercise of collecting and utilising the right kind of information will be a painless one.

Happy Skwirking,

The Skwirk Team