Friday | 05 June | 2020
Anja van den Berg
The COVID-19 lockdown has interrupted learning in several countries of the world, including our own. Many South African parents are looking at alternative ways to ensure their children’s education.
Many schools are offering online learning to keep lessons going. However, only a handful of schools have established online learning systems. For many parents, home-schooling their kids is an overwhelming prospect. These online resources can make home-learning a bit easier and more fun. Try different approaches and websites and see what works for you.
Amazon allows book rental as part of a premium monthly payment service. You can also access free audiobooks for children through Audible. The Kindle (with the Kindle unlimited option) application can also be used to download books to a phone. Parents can use the trial version of the app to access books for at least a month, enabling children to keep reading.
- Online learning platforms and websites
South African telecommunication networks have zero-rated many learning sites, which means materials can be downloaded for free. This makes an enormous difference to parents who may have limited data plans and are worried about running up online bills.
Telkom has zero-rated the websites of universities, technical and vocational training colleges, and provides links to maths and science learning pages. The Khan Academy site is also zero-rated, providing massive online learning resources to a global audience.
MTN and Vodacom have zero-rated many learning sites. Vodacom provides a comprehensive zero-rated e-school portal with extensive learning content for grades R to 12. Vodacom has also zero-rated the Mindset learning platform of creative and inspiring videos to support learning in a range of subjects.
Siyavula is an education technology organisation providing high school maths and science questions and free online books for students. The site is further zero-rated for MTN and Vodacom users.
UNESCO has a useful list of platforms that can provide online learning materials, free books, websites and learning applications for different subject areas.
The Android and iOs app stores have numerous learning applications that allow once-off downloads to support learning. South African examples include Sisanda Techs, which supports science learning using augmented reality for children whose schools lack science labs. Parents can type in the subject area to find a range of learning platforms.
- Sharing materials with other parents
Parents who have access to open-source school learning materials can exchange and share with others using Google Drive with Google suits applications on the free service. Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, and Google Meets are also great platforms for live group learning or tutoring.
Microsoft and Google have both announced free access to conferencing services, which usually have an enterprise subscription rate. Parents can take advantage of this for individual or group learning as well.
The Conversation: https://theconversation.com/kids-can-keep-learning-even-during-a-lockdown-heres-how-134434
* All information was correct at the time of publication.