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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

Roughly I would spend about 60 hours per week preparing lessons for my year 4 students. I spend anywhere between $40-$60 a fortnight on downloadable resources from particular websites, as well as 3 different subscriptions to a Math, English and science platform. The 3 subscriptions would roughly add up to $350 a year alone. All of which are helping me to plan and develop lessons for my students. To keep up with the 21st century learning that has become more and more apparent as I develop as a teacher I find that having some technology based resources has changed the way that I plan for each lesson. I use a program called OneNote to develop lesson ideas and then bring them into the Note Book platform so that there is some interactive application within each lesson. I also have ACARA and BOSTES open on a daily basis as the curriculum is key when planning lessons. These sites can be a little tough to navigate but I am slowly getting the hang of it. When I graduated the new curriculum was only in the planning stage, I became an expert in the old curriculum which is slowly becoming non-existent.

Planning one 40 minute lesson probably takes a good hour and a half… there are a minimum of 6 lessons a day not including the other school based activities which teachers face every day such as assemblies, sport lessons, language lessons and so on! There is a lot that goes in to one lesson… Making sure that it:

  • fits the curriculum
  • engages the students
  • uses different modes of technology
  • differentiated to fit all ability levels within the classroom
  • fun for the students
  • interactive
  • relevant

When I first started teaching this is everything that would go into planning a lesson for my students. Now in my second year of teaching I have discovered an online platform, that not only allows you to create your own lesson but gives you all the resources that are needed to fulfil everything you need to have the perfect lesson ready to go. Skwirk is an online resource that has been around for many years and is continually developing to keep up with today’s technology, curriculum and 21st Century needs. I cannot believe the amount of time that I used to spend planning is almost halved. I now only spend about half an hour gathering resources and about 20 minutes putting it together. The curriculum codes are all linked throughout Skwirk so I don’t need to navigate the tricky sites. During our planning days we decide what points we are going to cover then I just have to put those codes into Skwirk and I find all the resources. They have been able to link chapters, videos, animations, games and worksheets to specific curriculum points making it so much easier to find relevant information.

One thing I know I have saved on is money. I have a yearly subscription to one place that covers all subject areas. Instead of 3 which I don’t always find relevant as a lot of their content is American or English. Skwirk is 100% Australian!

In saving time and money I have found that I can start to enjoy the little things again like a reading a book or going on an afternoon walk, things that a year ago I would have never done. I have been able to manage my time better with Skwirk, I am able to enjoy teaching so much more and be in the moment with my student as they light up with the fun interactive games and videos that they have to offer. Since I have started using Skwirk I have been able to see all the lessons that I have prepared on my account and shared them with other teachers at the school to save them time too!

Save 40% on an Individual Teacher subscription with the discount code ‘textbook’. Join today, click here.

Ashleigh Graham

Bachelor of Education Primary

Get a Skwirk classroom trial today, click here