On average we talk to around 200 educators and teachers a day. These discussions could be an introduction to Skwirk, teacher training on our resources, gathering feedback and setting up a new school on their Skwirk adventure.
We talk with Principals, Assistant Principals, Teacher Librarians, Curriculum Coordinators, ICT Coordinators, Heads of Department and Classroom Teachers. One thing which stands out head and shoulders above anything else, it just how little time teachers have. Whether before, during or after school, it amazes us how many extra hours educators put in. This is not new news, but it is something which can be overlooked unless you actually work with educators.
According to the Teachers Workload Survey, teachers are spending an average of 18 hours a week planning, preparing & marking. When we mentioned this on Skwirk’s Facebook page, the response was mainly, ‘It’s often more’. Some teachers said 20-25 hours a week!!
Where does that time go? Well there is obviously the huge amount of marking on a daily basis. Then there is the time spent searching for relevant resources. These resources can include textbooks, worksheets, DVD’s, apps and online resources. Online resources could be in variety of locations, whether they are free (YouTube, TeacherTube, Wikipedia) or paid subscriptions.
And finally teachers have to put these together into a clear lesson plan. Whether it will be something which is used on Smartboards and projectors at the front of the classroom, or accessed by students in textbooks, worksheets, computers and tablets.
So, it’s not very hard to see where all that time goes!
We took all this feedback on-board at Skwirk, and brainstormed ways we could try and make teachers lives a lot easier. We came up with a new teachers portal which adds three unique areas:
1. Content – All subjects and resource types in one place
One thing we have always done at Skwirk is covered all the major subjects in one online location. But we have now added all the year groups to just one login as well. Through one login, teachers get access to Maths, English, History, Science & Geography content from Years Kindy/Reception – 10. Essentially in one login, teachers get access to over 18,000 resources, including videos, animations, interactive activities, worksheets, games, and more. This means teachers can now assign individual students work from different year levels, using differentiation in mixed-ability classes. Watch our tutorial on how to assign work to students:
2. Automated Marking
Yes, Skwirk will mark assessments for you. Skwirk contains over 4,000 assessments including Quizzes, Spelling, Grammar and Vocab exams. Plus you can even create your own! When you assign lessons to students through Skwirk you will receive an instant report when they have finished the assessments, with their marks on 1st, 2nd and more attempts, so you can measure progress. You can find out how to access the reports in this tutorial:
3. Lesson Editing & Planning
Lastly, comes our new lesson planner. We love demonstrating this feature when visiting schools; it shows the teachers the unlimited potential of Skwirk. The new lesson planner and editor gives teachers the ability to take any content on Skwirk and edit it to suit them. So imagine picking up a text-book, taking any page, and then chopping up the content, deleting what is not relevant for your lesson and then bringing in your own resources. You can even bring in your own videos and images, create your own assessments, and then save to our own profile to use and add to year after year. We have also added the ability to share lessons with other teachers in your school. Once again we have created a tutorial to demonstrate this new feature:
These features have been created after gathering feedback from the teachers who use Skwirk. We exist to make teachers lives easier and to try and help claim back some more hours by providing quality and extensive resources which are simple and effective. Join Skwirk today, click here.
The Skwirk Team