Skwirk blog – late May 2013
Hi there Skwirkers,
As the cold weather sets in the team at Skwirk HQ have been learning all about online videos. Our new site has the ability to link to or embed video content from a range of video sites ranging from YouTube and Vimeo to TeacherTube and the TED website. We are looking forward to implementing this functionality to help teachers and students find more and more resources to increase their teaching and learning.
Meanwhile, your fearless Education Content Manager is heading to Uluru and Kata Tjuta this week for a brief holiday; I look forward to experiencing these unique World Heritage Sites and (hopefully) snapping some Skwirk-worthy pictures to be uploaded to the site!
New and updated content on the Skwirk Site
The Australian Curriculum is the hottest topic of conversation amongst the teachers we speak with at Skwirk HQ. We’ve unleashed more state-specific content for a national audience as schools all over Australia continue to prepare for the ‘big switch’ next year. Some of the new units of work you’ll be seeing on the Skwirk site include:
- Cultural and Historical Science – Featuring 11 chapters of content, all with our custom-created Skwirk animations, this unit for students in Years 5 and 6 is a great resource for teachers looking for ideas for the new ‘Science as Human Endeavour’ thread of the national Science curriculum. The unit covers the major fields of Science and the role Science plays in areas ranging from Medicine to Art!
- The Great Barrier Reef – A great compact unit of work for lower Secondary students, this Geography unit can be used to examine marine biology, the role of tourism in World Heritage Sites, and managing a fragile marine ecosystem. The unit features over three dozen images, animations and videos and a handy unit summary.
New rewards on the Skwirk Store
The evil geniuses at Professor Plum’s have outfitted us with some awesome pocket-sized prizes for you to take anywhere with you. Check them out below:
Elementary, my dear Skwirkers! Keep this great magnifying glass on hand to examine insects and solve crimes. We have already used one of these in Skwirk HQ to solve the Mystery of the Missing Tim-Tams (it was Jordan).
Did your iPod touch run out of battery? Is there a blackout at your house? Are you tired of not being able to throw game pieces at your annoying siblings? Then rejoice! These great portable brain-testers slip into your pocket or backpack and provide hours of challenging puzzles from easy to expert difficulty levels.
Podcast of the week – A History of the World in 100 Objects
Originally broadcast in 2010 on BBC Radio, this podcast tracks human history across time, space and place using artefacts from the vast collection of the British Museum. Hosted by Museum Director Neil MacGregor, each podcast last for around 15 minutes and features experts in fields ranging from biology to fabrics. There is also a lovely companion site with an interactive time-line.
Video of the week – Sir Ken Robinson on escaping education’s ‘Death Valley’
Education theorist Sir Ken Robinson is one of a number of world-renown speakers who will be presenting at the EduTECH Conference in early June. Speaking here at the TED Talks Education Special in April, Sir Ken makes the case for thinking about education as an organic system that can be grown and adapted, rather than a mechanical system that needs to be fine-tuned.