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

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

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.