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There is no one-size-fits-all teaching method that will help every child in a class to learn. Instead, each person tends to respond in a unique way to different stimuli. Different learning styles require different teaching methods, and Skwirk can make it possible to tailor information to suit the many minds housed together in the same classroom.

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In order to help students improve their grades, the eLearning database of Skwirk is designed to cater to an array of different learning styles. Some students will respond best to colourful animations, videos and visual stimulus, others will respond to aural learning – listening to the information presented. Others still will be able to retain information if they experience it via a demonstration or by doing it themselves. Many will respond to a combination of these techniques – every class and every child is unique.

Because each student will have their own individual style of learning, it can be a challenging task for a teacher to create lesson plans with so many personalities in the room. It’s no easy feat to make classes and assessments for students that will be helpful to everyone, especially if some students simply cannot fit within that particular learning framework. What works for most may exclude some from the process of learning. This means that without an inclusive lesson plan, teachers can run the risk of leaving some students behind.

Not only is the aforementioned situation upsetting, but the fact that a myriad of learning styles can exist in the same room makes it hard to assess students’ progress on their report cards. How can teachers mark educational progress fairly? Some teachers know that their students are intelligent and have engaged with their learning material, however this may not be reflected in their marks. Why does this happen? It can be because the testing format is not one in which the child can communicate what they know. 

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Skwirk Online Education is an invaluable resource to solve this problem within classrooms. Now there is a way to create a fairer method of assessing what students have learnt. This is because everyone can have the chance to fully comprehend their classes, and be tested in a way that allows their learning style to flourish. By using Skwirk, it is possible to assign tasks that teach the same information in line with the Australian curriculum, but in different ways to suit different learning styles. Teachers are able to assign individual students or groups of students their own activities, assessments and tasks. This is how Skwirk has been helping students improve their grades for years.

Although it is true that some students require a certain style of learning in order to retain information, it is also true that a blend of teaching approaches give kids a better change of learning as well. This is yet another advantage of this online education system. Revising the same information is made invigorating when kids are able to do so via varied and interactive methods.

Education has come a long way since children got in trouble for not being able to memorise their textbooks. Help your students get the best start and tackle learning from a new angle.  

Skwirk is offering all individual teachers 30% off a Skwirk subscription until the end of December. Simply use the discount code eLearning when subscribing. Click this link to get started.

Australia’s economic health is often linked to China’s appetite for its minerals – but a new kind of resources boom could be set to make its mark with online education as the next big product.

China’s education sector is the largest in the world with over nine million students taking the National Higher Education Entrance Examination in 2015. It accounts for over 4% of the nation’s GDP and is seeing record amounts of overseas investment.

And now, e-learning is rapidly emerging as one of Australia’s biggest exports to China, highlighted by the recent trade trip of 10 education technology companies to Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing in August.

“It is estimated by 2017, the value of China’s online education market will reach A$36 billion so there is enormous benefit to NSW in exchanging knowledge and ideas with China in this sector,” said Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Stuart Ayres, who led the program that was a joint initiative between Austrade and NSW Education.

The companies met a range of potential local partners to discuss distributing Australian e-learning products across China’s vast and valuable education system. This could lead to the creation of a big new market for Australian business in China beyond the usual commodities and agriculture.

This opportunity is already paying off for Australian education technology company Skwirk, which was selected to take part in the trade trip and is now set to expand its e-learning network to China. Skwirk is an online interactive learning portal for primary and secondary school students. The portal is accessed in over 1400 schools in countries across the world including Australia, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

Skwirk is now adding China’s e-learning sector to that growing list, already hiring a company representative and conducting ongoing discussions with potential business partners.

CEO David Weston said China’s vast appetite for Australian educational products is an impressive opportunity.

“This was a hugely beneficial trip for us at Skwirk. We knew there would be possibilities in China, but we did not predict the amount of interest we have received.

“We have now been back to continue conversations with multiple companies and investors, and employed our first China based representative. This would not have been possible without the help of Austrade and Stuart Ayres.”

The recent e-learning trade trip could be the start of something big for Australia’s economy, and Skwirk is now ideally positioned to take full advantage of China’s big appetite for Aussie e-learning.

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Photo (L-R): Skwirk CEO, David Weston, NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Stuart Ayres and Skwirk Chairman, Rod Salmon.

In the last ten years Skwirk has evolved again and again to best support the latest teaching methods and the integration of new technologies into the classroom. Now Skwirk is being utilised in over 1400 Schools, by more than 19,000 Teachers and 200,000 students in Australia and we’re growing with new Skwirkers joining from all around the world, including New Zealand, Malaysia, Hong Kong and the UK.

To celebrate we’re giving away 10 XO Tablets, click here to enter our Birthday Competition!

The Early Years

Skwirk was founded in 2005 by company Chairman Rod Salmon. As an entrepreneur and a father, he was frustrated by the lack of high-quality, Australian resources for his children to use as part of their school projects and assignments. The original concept was to create a safe online destination and learning environment for students to use, however after positive feedback from schools and teachers, Skwirk was taken into the classroom, and we have not looked back!

Ten years ago now, schools were installing computer labs and began to bring laptops into the classroom. These were the early years of Skwirk and we want to say a special thank you to all of the schools, teachers and students who have been with us since the beginning and for enthusiastically embracing our resources, your support has helped us become the Skwirk of today!

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(L-R) Skwirk CEO, David Weston, NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Stuart Ayres and Skwirk Chairman, Rod Salmon

Engaging Students, Enhancing Learning

Taking on-board important feedback from teachers, more options to customise learning for individual students was an important step forward.  

Five years ago, many schools began to use Interactive Whiteboards and teachers were given the ability to customise Skwirk content to personalise their own lesson plans. Suddenly, lessons became media rich experiences incorporating interactive exercises, animations and video content! The feedback from Teachers was overwhelming as they expressed how delighted they were that their students were more engaged, retained more information and had fun in the process!

One of the biggest benefits of bringing Skwirk into the classroom as reported by teachers was that it easily caters to a range of different learning styles, with something to suit every student.

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New Curriculum Aligned Content, Every Week

Week by week Skwirk continues to grow with new texts, interactive activities, animations, videos, games, worksheets, images and podcasts being added all the time! Today Skwirk has over 18,000 resources covering Maths, English, Science, Geography, History and Commerce.

To better use all these wonderful resources tools were developed for teachers to bookmark and highlight sections and a helpful calendar function to assign content so that it is ready to access in class. The feature that made teachers’ lives even easier was the simple Curriculum Code search, displaying all relevant content in just a few seconds. Because all of Skwirk’s resources are aligned to the Australian Curriculum (did you know that you can also search by NSW Curriculum Codes too?), everything on Skwirk integrates into the classroom with ease to enhance lessons from Foundation all the way through to year 10.

Reporting and assessment tools at the end of a topic also help teachers to monitor the progress of individual students. These reports help to inform future teaching and learning so that the appropriate information is assigned to a student to meet their learning needs.

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The Skwirk Team together at a recent training conference

The Future of Skwirk

In the last few years many Schools have introduced individual devices for each student and with the endorsement and ongoing implementation of the Australian Curriculum, Skwirk has evolved again! Since introducing our Home Educator subscription less than a year ago we’ve had nearly 500 families subscribe (watch this space for an exciting announcement regarding our 500th Home Educating family very soon!). We’ve come a long way since those early days back in 2005!

Skwirk’s CEO, David Weston reflects on reaching this milestone –

“I think it is important to remember why we are here. Throughout the changes in technology and the evolving of our resources, Skwirk’s mission has always been to make teachers’ lives easier and support different learning styles. I feel very proud when I think about the thousands of students whose skills and knowledge were improved by our content.

I look forward to future developments in the Education sector and how Skwirk will continue to evolve with these processes.”

Thank you for Skwirking with us and sharing the journey so far – here’s to the next ten years!

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:

  • Teacher
  • Home Educator
  • Parent

 

Happy Skwirking!

 

The reason why Skwirk has become one of the most popular and well-respected education companies in Australia is that it combines fun and inspiration with real learning. In addition to providing teachers, home educators and students with more than 18,000 educational resources, Skwirk has also developed an array of powerful reporting and assessment tools for all levels. These tools support student-led learning and a flexible classroom, while making sure that concrete progress is being made.

Where inspiration meets progress

It’s no secret that Skwirk works hard to inspire students. That’s why over 25% of schools in New South Wales benefit from a subscription.

However, the expert Skwirk team knows that all the inspiration in the world doesn’t equate to progress, without accountability. It’s easy enough to see if a student is enjoying their lessons. You can tell, just by watching them and talking to them. But it’s not so easy to see from the outside if they’re really absorbing what they’re learning. That’s where reporting and assessment are absolutely crucial.

Reporting and assessment – up to the minute

Skwirk’s thousands of resources, all developed to meet the Australian curriculum, are impeccably organised according to year level, learning outcomes and topic areas. So, even if a student is using resources independently, and is engaged in student-led learning, the teacher or parent can tell exactly what level they’re working at and how their learning fits into the curriculum. There’s never any need to be stabbing about in the dark.

Skwirk’s up to the minute assessment tools provide you with this kind of specific information, so you can direct student-led learning and organise your flexible classroom accordingly. Without accurate assessment and reporting, you risk repeating content unnecessarily, which can lead to student boredom. After all, who wants to revise an area in which they already feel confident? The focus should be on teaching students new skills and knowledge, so they are constantly developing, growing and maintaining their enthusiasm for learning.

Questions?

Would you like to know more about Skwirk’s up to the minute learning and assessment tools? Are you wondering if a Skwirk subscription is right for your school or home? Our friendly, passionate, expert team would love to talk to you at a time that suits you. Why not get in touch with us today? Take a free trial, click here.

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.

Laptops and PCs

Whether your school has a traditional computer lab or a couple of PC’s in your classroom, 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 tool 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.

Worksheets

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

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.

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.

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.

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