See what happens when they let me out?

I don’t often get let out of Squiz Kids HQ to roam unattended about the world. It’s generally considered safer, I think, that I’m kept as much as possible chained to the keyboard and microphone.

But this week is an exception. This week is something of a bumper week for Squiz-E the Newshound and the media literacy campaign we’ve been waging these last 18 months.

And that’s because we’re taking the Federal Education Minister, Jason Clare, and the NSW Education Minister, Prue Car, to visit a school in Minister Clare’s Sydney electorate to see Newshounds in action in a classroom. Next month, the Federal Communications Minister Michelle Rowland will do likewise at a school in her electorate, followed closely by the Queensland Education Minister, Di Farmer who’ll pop in to watch Squiz-E do his thing in her electorate.

Since school went back a few weeks ago, we’ve ticked over the 2,000 mark in terms of classrooms around Australia that have signed up to do the Newshounds pilot we launched back in November 2022 – teaching kids to spot misinformation when they come across it online.

Since then, we commissioned the Queensland University of Technology to conduct an academic assessment on the effectiveness of the program.

Now that we have proof of concept (ie: QUT gave us a tick) and proof of demand (2,000 classrooms and counting) we’re asking state and federal governments to escalate media literacy up the totem pole of educational importance and help us continue our crusade to make Aussie kids the most media literate in the world. Teachers: you can help in this effort (read on below) and parents, there’s a role here for you too.

Talk to the principals and teachers at your school, tell them about Newshounds by Squiz Kids and urge them to get involved.

Not to sound overblown: there’s nothing less important than our kids’ futures and the future health of our democracy at stake. Have a listen here to Amanda and I explain why we’re so energised by this cause.

And a shout out to the kids at Cannon Hill State School in Brissie (pictured below) who welcomed me into their classroom this morning to do Newshounds Sessions 1+2. I cannot thank you enough 🙏.

Teachers: Squiz-E needs you! 🙏

Teachers: I know there’s a whole bunch of you who read this, and I also know you’re all super busy.

But I need your undivided attention for just a couple of minutes.

As mentioned already, we’re off to visit a school on Wednesday with Jason Clare so he can see Newshounds in action in the classroom.

The Minister is keen to receive testimonials from teachers around the country who have used Newshounds in their classroom to teach kids to spot misinformation when they come across it online.

Whether you’ve done all eight sessions of the Newshounds program or only dipped your toe in, I’d really appreciate it if you could email through a testimonial to me by tomorrow at the latest, for me to take to my meeting.

A few minutes of your time to tap out a couple of lines could make a huge difference to our ability to evolve Newshounds from the pilot program you see today to the fully-fledged, bells-and-whistles educational tool we know it can be. And, crucially, keep it available for free.

Send your testimonial to [email protected]. Unless of course you hate it. In which case I have a special email address for that correspondence… 😉

Thanks in advance 🙏.

This week on Squiz Kids …

This week in Squiz The World, we strap ourselves into the Squiz Kids Super-Fast Supersonic Jetliner to pay a visit to Indonesia … our near neighbour that’s so close, but also worlds away. Why Indonesia? Because it’s just staged one of the world’s biggest elections to elect a President – and because everyone should get to know their neighbours.  Cue Barry Crocker and the theme song … The pod drops first thing tomorrow.

We’ll have our regular Kids v Adults News S’Quiz on Friday – testing to see who’s been paying the most attention to the week that just was. Teachers tell me it gets quite heated in some classrooms on a Friday…

And of course on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays tune in for Squiz Kids Today – our kid-friendly wrap of the big news headlines. Because all kids should know what’s going on in the world around them. Hit follow on Apple or Spotify and you won’t miss a thing …

This week on The Big Squiz

Our colleagues over on the The Squiz are back with another cracking topic for News Club this week – Julian Assange: Journalist or Criminal? 

It comes as a two day hearing kicks off this week in the UK’s High Court to determine whether Julian Assange should be granted a full appeal to challenge his extradition to the US.

There’s a lot to it, but that’s why News Club is here – to help you understand what it’s all about. Hit follow on News Club in Apple and Spotify, and make sure you’re following @thesquiznewsclub on Insta – there’s plenty going down.

On our radar …

We’re up to our eyeballs all day, everyday in all things kids 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.

Civics, innit?  … there’s a push on in NSW schools for high-school kids to learn more about our systems of government with regular and more dynamic civics lesson. Personally, we reckon you should start earlier than high school – which is why we produced the Sensational World of Civics with our friends at the Museum of Australian Democracy. Have a listen here and find out how civics can indeed be sexy. Truly.

WA won’t go the whole hog … you may have heard last week that some schools in WA are banning ham in the school canteen – a decision that has thrown a million school lunches into doubt. This article from the academics at The Conversation helps separate porcine fact from fiction.

Smile on your dial … 

I felt a bit sorry for P!nk this week as her Aussie tour was blown out of the water by the Taylor Swift juggernaut (even if I’m sure the packed stadiums that greeted her everywhere she went helped to numb the pain). Amidst all the live music excitement from the week just gone, this moment from one of P!nk’s Sydney shows, of an AUSLAN interpreter living and breathing her job, was just priceless. Enjoy.

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