Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Places to find free online resources for the classroom in South Africa…

In South Africa there are many online resources available to teachers free of charge to assist them in their classroom activities. This post outlines a few of these.

1. e-classroom (http://e-classroom.co.za). 

One of the really popular sites in South Africa that has over 2,000,000 downloads per month is e-classroom. The sites consists of CAPS related worksheets for Grade R-6 which are mainly in English (and Afrikaans) but are currently being translated into the other South African languages.

On their home page the founder of e-classroom, Natalie Wood, says “This website was created for educators and parents to access support material to use in the classroom and at home. We provide excellent quality printable resources which can be downloaded for free for beneficiaries in South Africa. All our worksheets are aligned to the news CAPS curriculum and developed for the subject matters of: Mathematics, English, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Life Skills and Creative Arts. Our education content is developed by teachers who are dedicated to making a difference in education. Our free worksheets offer great opportunities for learners to practice key skills, and are easy to use. This initiative is open to all primary schools in South Africa and internationally as we believe that every child has a right to education.”

2. Siyavula (http://www.siyavula.com/ and also http://projects.siyavula.com/technology-driven-learning/)


The Everything Maths and Science Grade 10-12 Maths books from Siyavula have a small license fee attached as they are accompanied by their Intelligent Practice service at everythingmaths.co.za or everythingscience.co.zaAll questions are curriculum-aligned and based on the content in our Everything Maths and Science textbooks. You can track your progress with your personalised dashboard. Intelligent Practice is available for mobile, and is coming soon to Mxit.

3. Thunderbolt Kids (http://www.thunderboltkids.co.za/)

This site is part of Siyavula and consists of resource material for Grades 4 - 6 in Natural Sciences and Technology. These are openly-licensed workbooks, available in hardcopy, PDF, web books and EPUB, for desktop, tablets and mobile devices.Currently the following can be found on the website:
  • Grade 4 – 6 Natural Sciences and Technology Learner textbooks and Teacher Guides in English and Afrikaans that can be viewed online or downloaded as PDFs.
  • Science Adventure Comic Books for Grades 4,5 and 6 in English as well as Thinking Skills.
  • Concept maps to show the link between the grades.
  • Posters
This is whati s said about the project “There is much focus on the later grades in high school where learners are grappling with science and maths concepts. But, many of the misconceptions and problems that are evident at this level, often have their roots in the primary school phase. To attempt to improve the STEM subjects in South Africa, we actually need to start at the beginning and secure a strong foundation on which learners can build their future Science and Technology careers. This is something that we at Siyavula and the Sasol Inzalo Foundation believe strongly in. Not only this, but both organizations recognize the power and potential of open educational resources to make a difference to education in South Africa. This set the stage for a strong partnership to produce resources for Natural Sciences and Technology for Grades 4-6 to be printed by the Department of Basic Education for every child in a government school in 2013.”

4. Mindset (http://www.mindset.co.za/)

Mindset is a South African not-for-profit company that creates, sources and distributes high quality, curriculum aligned digital content to support the education and health sectors. Mindset Learn is Mindset’s Schooling programme and provides video, print and interactive multimedia content designed to be used by teachers and learners in the classroom covering the curriculum for:
  • Grade 10 to 12 Mathematics, Physical Sciences, English, Maths Literacy and Information Technology
  • Grade 4 to 5 Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology
  • Financial Literacy
imageMindset Teach has a lovely YouTube channel with short 7-9 minute videos of great lessons in Grades 1-3 Maths and Literacy. This is really worth exploring. http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyShauoSPxpUo8YDg0rS6JQ

5. Intel Explore and Learn Market Place

Intel has been collecting free educational resources which they have made available to South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya via their Intel Explore and Learn Market Place.
This is what they say about it “Welcome to Intel® Explore and Learn your one stop shop for all digital education content. Through this platform learners can find and acquire free and paid for, textbooks, instructional videos, exam preparation materials to help them succeed in their studies. The content you will find on Intel® Explore and Learn ranges from officially approved text books and multimedia content to supplementary multimedia and interactive content from Kenyan and International providers all designed to make your learning experience that much more fun and engaging.”

I wrote a blogpost abput the launch of the Intel Market Place when it was launched in Novemebr 2013:  Intel launches its Explore and Learn Marketplace - great news for education in South Africa!

6. South African History Online (www.sahistory.org.za)

imageSouth African History Online is a user-friendly site offering alternative perspectives of history, focusing on untold stories and giving learners a chance to construct their own oral histories. The Classroom section has comprehensive content for grades 4 to 12. There's also plenty of information for teachers, and a well-illustrated section on arts and culture.

7. Thutong (http://www.thutong.doe.gov.za/)
Thuthong Education Portal offers resources on teacher development, curriculum, legislation, educational policy, administration, links to external web resources on the internet and more. 


8. Onnies online (http://onniesonline.weebly.com/)

The website says, “Onnies Online provides free quality resources for South African teachers and offers a space to connect with fellow teachers! In Afrikaans óók! Visit the recently added page for new resources added to the website.”

9. Vodacom Digital Classroom (http://digitalclassroom.co.za/digitalclassroom/)


This site has also been collecting free available resources and when you register and join the site some of the the links to the above-mentioned sites are available. The links also lead to download pages of the various resources. The Digital Classroom also has a link to Mindset at http://mindset.vodacomict.co.za/ and http://www.mindset.co.za/learn/xtra


10. Nokia free online Maths service to Grades 10 - 12

Nokia and the Department of Science and Technology launched the excellent Mobile Maths service to all South African high school Maths learners. Aligned to the CAPS curriculum, this service provides an excellent complimentary mobile learning opportunity for students in Grade 10-12.
Use of the Mobile Mathematics service is possible with any mobile phone with a data connection, or a computer with internet connection. The service is browser based, so nothing needs to be installed on the phone or computer to use it. The solution is free – the user faces only the data connection costs. Please note that for all MTN and Cell C data users, this service is zero-rated which means there is no data connection cost.
  • Login to the service http://momaths.nokia.com/za/m/login
  • Register for the service, select your Maths grade, choose a topic and start practising.

There are different question types and these include multiple-choice; true of false; open-ended and step-by-step (to test understanding the steps of solving an exercise as opposed to learning by heart). The questions are randomised and start at level 1(easy) and progresses to more difficult questions. The correct answers earn learners points and they can compete against learners nationally.

imageWikipedia says "Mxit is a free instant messaging application developed by Mxit Lifestyle Ltd. in South Africa that runs on multiple mobile and computing platforms. Along with its own standard protocol, it can connect to Yahoo, ICQ, Google Talk, Facebook, AIM, or Windows Live Messenger contacts."

Mxit can be downloaded as an Android or iPad app as well.  
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mxit.  Recently I noticed a tweet on Twitter saying that "The full SA high school curriculum is available on the Rethink Education App on Mxit for free. See http://rethinkeducation.co.za/"

12. DBE Educloud.co.za (http://www.educloud.org.za/home/)

This appears to be a Telkom site under construction for the Department of Education. On closer look it hosts all the free workbooks tht the Department issued to learners in 2011, and will soon have links to other free resources in South Africa.


13. Internet Biology Project

imageInternet Biology Education Project The University of the Western Cape's botany department, the Western Cape Schools Network and the Western Cape education department collaborate to improve the teaching and learning of biology with online assistance. The site hosts mailing lists and newsgroups, and contains plenty of learning and teaching materials.

14. SchoolNet blog (http://schoolnetsa.blogspot.com)

This blog  provides a source of professional development in integrating technology into the day-to-day classroom experience for teachers in South Africa. Many technology tips and tricks, plus uses of new tools and webinar recordings  can be found there. 


  1. Also try www.mathsatsharp.co.za for free grade 8 - 12 maths and math literacy worksheets, with fully worked out memos that are CAPS aligned.

  2. Thank's for such interesting list! You have a nice blog! Keep up working!

  3. Hi! Thanks for mentioning Onnies Online! Could you please update the link to www.onniesonline.co.za :)