Squiz-E does Singapore

December 4, 2023

See that? That hazy line on the near horizon that looks deceptively like a mirage? It’s the finish line people. And now that we’re in December, I think we can safely say we’re almost at it.

If your household is anything like mine, the next couple of weeks are going to take every last bit of energy you have left for the year – to push through all of those end-of-year concerts, school awards ceremonies, work deadlines and Xmas functions. You’ve got this ..

On the subject of last dash pushes .. I’ve just flown back on the red eye from Singapore, after attending the Google Trusted Media Summit there.

It was two days of invigorating discussion about my favourite subject: media literacy. Specifically: how organisations just like ours all over Asia-Pacific are fighting misinformation. I presented ‘Newshounds‘ – our free media literacy programme for primary school kids – and it went down a storm. And a big shout-out to our friends at the Google News Initiative who organised the Summit and continue to be staunch supporters of Squiz Kids.

While lots of effort around the world is going into inoculating teens against misinformation, very few countries are addressing the issue before it becomes a problem. I’m talking about nipping it in the bud at the primary school level. Which is why I’m confident we’ve hit upon a world-beating idea. Or as one enthusiastic summiteer described it after my presentation: “this is nation building stuff’.

I’d never thought of Newshounds as a piece of infrastructure before – like a highway or a hydro-scheme – but I’ll take it.

And finally: if you were wondering what to get me for Christmas this year, give me two minutes of your time to fill out our end of year survey. See the link below. I hate to add to your end of year scramble – but as we look towards next year, it will help us give shape to Squiz Kids 2024. Thank you in anticipation … 🙏

Christmas Holiday Content

The Squiz Kids daily news podcast – tied as it is to the school term – finishes up this Friday, December 8. Cue the cartwheels.

That may or may not also be the day the Squiz Kids team (take a bow, Christie and Emma) get together for a long lunch in Brisbane to toast the year that just was. And yes, there’s a good chance there will be wine …

But we’re not abandoning you completely over the holidays.

We’re all parents, so we know how important it is to have little mince balls of holiday distraction to hurl at the wolf pack – I mean, wholesome and educational activities to occupy the kids – during the long summer break.

To that end we’ve devised two months’ worth of top quality kids’ audio content to keep your little ones entertained/help stave off holiday boredom. Perfect for long road trips or lazy summer days at home.

Every Monday of the school hols you’ll have in your feed a Squiz Kids Shortcut – on subjects as varied as Xmas Traditions Around The World, The Science of Rollercoasters and the History of Australia Day. Fun and educational.

Every Friday of the hols there will be a Bumper Kids vs Adults S’Quiz – so you can test your wits against the kids on topics as varied as the World’s Weirdest Animals, to Christmas TriviaSports Trivia and the Movies of 2023. These ones are just flat-out fun.

And every Wednesday, a Squiz Kids Book Club episode will drop – where kids review their favourite books for other kids. The perfect pod whether you have a reluctant reader or a book worm on your hands.

Not forgetting the Great Squiz Kids Joke-A-Thon – which will drop on Monday 18 December. With a big thanks to all the kids who sent in jokes. You lot are seriously funny.

And finally: just for the parents – a special Media Literacy: Explained podcast – where Amanda and I will explain our obsession, and how you can get involved at home and help us make Aussie kids the most media literate in the world.

The best way to make sure you don’t miss out on any of this great holiday content, of course, is to make sure you’ve subscribed to the Squiz Kids feed in your favourite podcasting app. Simples.

Oh yes: and it’s all still free. Merry Christmas folks. 🎄

What about Christmas Shout Outs?

Ah yes … excellent question.

Just because school stops for the year, it doesn’t mean kids’ birthdays stop too. And because we know how much kids love a Squiz Kids Birthday Shout Out, these Christmas holidays we’re going to be inserting a week’s worth of birthday Shout Outs into each one of our Bumper Kids vs Adults S’Quizzes.

So – if your kid has a birthday coming up over the school holiday break and they want a shout out, send in your request to [email protected] and Emma will schedule it. Then be sure to listen to the Quiz on the Friday of the week in which the birthday falls – and hey presto! Happy kid.

One small caveat: as we’re recording all of the quizzes next Monday – you’ll need to get your request in by this Friday, December 8.

And as for Classroom Shoutouts: they’ll resume next year with the start of a new school term.

Why kids should HIT PAUSE online

Did you know that around the world, each day, people watch billions of hours of video online? That’s billions with a ‘b’. And you can bet if your kid isn’t already among them, they soon will be.

Which is why I sat down with YouTube’s Rachel Lord to chat through their Hit Pause series of educational videos.

The overriding message? Hit the pause button – literally and figuratively – before believing everything you see online. And crucially, stop and think before reacting or sharing content online. Because sometimes pressing SHARE can make us part of the problem.

It’s an excellent series that no parent (or child) can afford to miss.
Jump into the video series here – and take a listen to our chat here.

Last chance for Xmas Merch 🎅

Scrambling for that last minute Xmas gift for your kid’s teacher? Caught in a last minute Secret Santa Classroom mash-up? Or simply looking for a few stocking stuffers? We’re here to help.

The Squiz Kids Merch Shop is open for business and will be shipping right up until December 18. And as a special offer: I’ll be autographing limited edition Squiz Kids water bottles and trucker caps between now and Christmas. For that personal touch.

If you want me to personalise the gift by making it out to someone special, just request an autograph or a message via the contact form on the shop website.

But hurry. Only while stocks last …

Survey: Tell us what you think …

I know it’s a tough time of year, so I’ll make this very quick and simple… As you would know, we changed the Squiz Kids morning line-up mid-year to have the news update 3 times a week, either a Squiz The World or Squiz Kids Shortcut episode and a Kids v Adult S’Quiz on Fridays. Phew!

Before we disappear for Christmas and make plans for next year, we’d like to know how it’s working out for you and yours. The survey will take 2-minutes to complete – promise… And we’d be ever so grateful for the feedback.

On our radar …

We’re up to our eyeballs all day, everyday in all things kids, education and parenting. So when we see an article or come across a topic we think you might be interested in, we’ll post it here.

A behaviour curriculum … A Federal Senate report has just recommended the creation of a national behaviour curriculum – to reign in what it says is an increasing incidence of unruly classroom behaviour.

Why school concerts are good for you … An Aussie music scholar has written article for The Conversation about why those dreaded end of year school concerts are good for your kids … and might just be good for you too. You’ve got this. 😉

Smile on your dial … 

A little ear-wig I picked up in Singapore at the Google Trusted Media Summit is this music video from Korean boy-band, NTC 127 (yeah, don’t worry, I’d never heard of them before this weekend, either). The song is called ‘Fact Check’ – and at first, I thought they were welcome new recruits to my media literacy crusade. But on closer inspection – and after trying to decode what is essentially a nonsensical mash-up of English-Korean lyrics – I’ve concluded maybe not. Enjoy it nonetheless.

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