australian education

Skwirk has been a quality tool for me while training to become a teacher. It is helpful for assignments, studying, and mostly for practicum as it demonstrates practical ways to introduce topics that I may not be completely confident with.

I have used it for assignments in all Key Learning Areas (KLAs) and have found it especially useful for covering English theory when developing lesson plans. Also, it allows me integrate ICT into all KLA’s and this will be an important skill especially in my first year as a teacher when I am learning to manage time and ensure I cover the entire curriculum.

I found that by using Skwirk I could engage all the students and it was a great way to ‘break the ice’ with some of the quieter students

When I walked into the classroom for my first practicum placement it was quite a shock to hear the students talking about and using their iPads and Nintendo DS’s. I was amazed at how second nature the use of technology was to ALL the students, not just the more able ones. I decided to try a lesson on the interactive whiteboard and found that by using Skwirk I could engage all the students and it was a great way to ‘break the ice’ with some of the quieter students.

The high level of interaction and ‘hands-on’ ability of Skwirk made the lessons easier to absorb and found that when using interactive methods such as Skwirk, the students were using their higher order thinking skills and the information I was desperately trying to get across was actually sinking in. The students were confident when using the technology and the general classroom climate had lifted (along with my confidence) because the animations and colour made it feel more like play than a lesson. Not only did the students benefit but so did I as my lesson preparation time was decreased because I wasn’t sitting up all night tracing and cutting out resources for every lesson!

The students are so tech-savvy they are really impressed when a teacher can teach them through a medium they love and understand.

I aspire to be a successful teacher who makes learning as fun and accessible for all my students and Skwirk has shown me that this is achievable.

Stephanie is studying a Bachelor of Education at Macqurie University

To get student trial to Skwirk click here. Put your university name in as your school name.

With school off for 6 weeks, the Professor decided to take a holiday after a ground breaking year, by indulging in his passion for history by exploring from Kelly Country to the Grenfell Goldfields.

The Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk in Seymour. A must do for anyone with an interest in Australian Military History

The Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk in Seymour.
A must do for anyone with an interest in Australian Military History

After spending the day wandering around Seymour on the Heritage Walk, at the Australian Light Horse Memorial Park and the Vietnam Veteran’s Commemorative Walk, the first night found the Professor staying at the Harvest Home Boutique Hotel in Avenel. This rather nice hotel has beautiful gardens, Damian the landlord is an absolute champion and the pizza shop next door is arguably one of the best in Australia, they even slice the prosciutto fresh!

Any fan of Ned Kelly needs to visit Avenel, as it was here that Ned saved the life of Richard Shelton, went to school and his father passed away. The green silk sash that the 12 year old Ned was awarded by the Shelton family for his act of bravery in saving Richard’s life, was worn under his armour many years later at Glenrowan. Hughes Creek, in which Richard was drowning, is classed as a fugitive waterway (not a pun at what Ned became). A fugitive waterway constantly shifts course and the amount of flow through the seasons, which is why it looks so empty and small in our picture! The professor then continued the Kelly country exploration with a visit to Glenrowan. It was here that Ned was captured by the police after the siege and the other members of the Kelly Gang were killed.

profsummer2

The Harvest Home Boutique Hotel in Avenel. Exquisite gardens, beautiful rooms and next door to the best pizza!

Moving north and keeping on the bushranger theme, Professor Skwirk decided to relax at a farm stay near Caragabal, in the Central-West of NSW. The farm actually occupies what was part of Ben Hall’s station of Sandy Creek, of which the police inspector Sir Frederick Pottinger burnt down Ben’s house, and is quite close to the Wheogo range of hills where it is believed Frank Gardiner, Ben Hall and the gang divvied up the loot from the Escort Robbery at Eugowra.

Grenfell, just 40 kilometres from where this all happened, is probably best known for being the birthplace of Henry Lawson (as an aside, it is also where Stan McCabe, the Australian Cricket Legend, grew up). The Professor spent plenty of time checking out O’Brien’s Lookout, which still has some of the original mines and crushing equipment from what was once the richest Goldfields in the colony. He also visited the birthplace of Henry Lawson, spent time with the brand new statue of Henry in the main street and took a walk up to Ben Halls Cave and the historic Seaton’s farm.

The spot that Ned was captured at in  Glenrowan

The spot that Ned was captured at in Glenrowan

The Professor chats to Henry Lawson, in the main street of Grenfell.

The Professor chats to Henry Lawson, in the main street of Grenfell.

“You were born on Grenfell goldfield – and you can’t get over that.”

Said Grenfell to My Spirit, Henry Lawson, 1911

The summer holidays over, the professor is now back at work ready to help.

Checking out the plinth marking Henry Lawson birthplace. The sugar gum in the background was planted by Henry’s Daughter, Bertha.

Checking out the plinth marking Henry Lawson birthplace. The sugar gum in the background was planted by Henry’s Daughter, Bertha

The Glenrowan Inn burned down when police set it alight to get the Kelly Gang

The Glenrowan Inn burned down when police set it alight to get the Kelly Gang