WHO

The World Health Organisation first reported the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Since early January, the organisation has been at the forefront of providing accurate and up to date news regarding the symptoms and spread of COVID-19. Keep your facts in check by regularly visiting their website and following them on social media:

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NICD

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases has provided relevant and accurate information regarding the outbreak of COVID-19 in South Africa since the disease first reached our shores. Their website features a number of handy resources to help you navigate the health crisis, including a list of local testing sites. Follow their social media pages for daily updates on COVID-19 infection rates and recoveries in the country:

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reliable news sources

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SA Coronavirus News Portal 

When the coronavirus broke out in South Africa in March, our government was quick to set up an online news portal to provide citizens with accurate information. The SA Coronavirus News Portal offers visitors free resources to help them understand the global pandemic and overcome unnecessary anxiety. The website also features up to date news on the progression of the virus in local communities and statements by our Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize. Follow this reliable news platform on social media or call the National Coronavirus Hotline for assistance:

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Emergency Hotline: 0800 029 999

WhatsApp Support Line: 0600-123456

Bhekisisa

The Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism is an independent media organisation that specialises in issues of health and social justice across Africa. As such, their coverage of all COVID-19 related news is handled with extreme care and scrutiny. Moreover, their reporting is sensitive to the unique challenges we face as a country in light of this pandemic. Visit their online news portal for daily updates on infection rates, insightful blog articles and accurate reporting. Bhekisisa's news articles are distributed through News24, the Daily Maverick and the Mail & Guardian as well. Follow Bhekisisa on social media to get their latest news first:

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Joburg.co.za

We at Joburg.co.za are dedicated to bringing you accurate and insightful lifestyle-related news. Our COVID-19 portal features health tips, educational resources, inspiring articles, relevant blog features and news pieces from other reliable sources. We have also recently launched our Joburg Marketplace to help you do all your shopping online! Follow our social media pages to engage with us and give us your feedback on our COVID-19 resources:

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Which online news sites have you been relying on for accurate information during lockdown? Let us know your thoughts! 

Vodacom e-School

Vodacom users have free access to the provider's e-School platform. You won't be charged any data fees when using this online resource either. All material on the Vodacom e-School has been developed by expert educators and is CAPS aligned. Covering all subjects from grade R to matric, this is an invaluable resource for parents and learners. Sign up here.

SA History Online

Do you have a little historian in the making living under your roof? Visit SA History Online for learning resources which cover a range of topics depending on the grade your child is in. The site offers resources for grades 4 - 12 based on what is currently in the national school syllabus. SA History Online also has a nifty 'On This Day In History' feature, so you and the kids can learn an interesting factoid about the history of our country each day during lockdown.

Khan Academy 

Khan Academy is an international non-profit organisation working to bring education to students around the world. To help parents guide their children through this period of anxiety, loneliness and confusion, Khan Academy have compiled a daily schedule to keep kids well stimulated and having fun. The Academy's online courses, quizzes and tests are mostly based on the US education system, but you should still be able to use their resources for some at-home learning.

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e-Classroom

We understand that money may be tight at the moment, but a little extra investment in your child's learning can go a long way towards getting them through the academic year. This is where e-Classroom comes in to play. The first ever online learning platform launched in South Africa, e-Classroom costs R65 per user, per year. Find support resources, free activity booklets, mock exam papers and revision worksheets for grades R - 12 here.

Siyavula

Does the idea of having to teach high school level maths and science send a cold shiver down your spine? Don't get your brain cells in a tizz over calculus, geometry, physics or chemistry. Siyavula Practice is a world-class maths and science online learning service. Start your kids off with their maths and science online question papers, which cover mathematics core learning from grade 8 - 12 and physical science from grade 10 - 12. Once they have mastered the basics, learners can try their hand at Siyavula's digital exams in preparation for the impending mid-year exams and matric preliminary tests.

Education.gov.za

The Department of Basic Education have also come to the online learning party in the face of school closures. Visit their website to find tips on how to support your child's learning from home, CAPS aligned audio lessons, textbooks and a range of reading materials. You can also access past matric papers here and links to the Gauteng school syllabus.

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Do you know of any other helpful online teaching resources for parents and learners? Let us know about them! 

Looking for more ways to keep the kids busy during lockdown? Click here.

JSTOR

We are sure that you probably have this online resource handy at all times. But, just in case it has slipped under your radar, we would like to remind you of the value of the JSTOR digital library. A virtual store of academic journals, books and primary sources, JSTOR is a gem during times when access to your university library is limited. Ideal for short assignments and research projects, this online resource is a go-to for students of all disciplines. Most South African universities allow access to JSTOR through your e-library login details, so get researching!

ScienceOpen

ScienceOpen is a research and publishing network for the scientific community in academia. Undergraduate students may join ScienceOpen as a guest user without registering and still have access to their over 61 million Open Access articles and article records. Guest users are also able to read and download papers and share them with others via e-mail or social media. To write reviews on papers or create a personal profile, you must become a member (which is free of charge). If you are looking to expand your peer network in the science community or have a discussion about a paper you have read, ScienceOpen should be your go-to resource.

Zotero

Have you ever wanted your own personal research assistant? Meet Zotero! This nifty software tool is a great resource for honours and masters students working on full-length dissertations. You know how it goes - you are deep in research mode and accidentally close the tab of the journal article you were just citing. Now you can't remember the name of the article and it's disappeared from your search history! Don't fret. Download Zotero and add it as an extension on your browser. While you work, the software scans your searches for academic content, prompting you to save it to your Zotero library. You can also create folders for each project you are working on, create reference lists and bibliographies, share resources and sync your data across devices. What more could you need to ace that next paper?

Open Culture

Language majors and film students, check out Open Culture for a mass of online resources. From free e-books and films, to language courses and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) from the world's top universities, Open Culture has all you need to keep reading, writing and learning during this difficult period. The site also offers over 200 free textbooks in a range of subjects, including business and management, chemistry, art history and many more.

Grammarly

Writing is no easy feat. Especially when you aren't able to access your university writing and language centre. If you are anxious about tackling assignments, essays and research papers alone during this time, turn to Grammarly. This digital writing and editing software can help take your essay from clumsy to clever with a few quick alterations. The Grammarly tool tracks so much more than just spelling errors, it can improve your active voice, your writing style and tone and help avoid plagiarism. Grammarly can be plugged into your Microsoft Office software too, making writing a breeze.

GoConqr

Are you a visual learner? GoConqr is just the online resource for you. Offering you a free and integrated suite of content creation tools for each step of your learning journey, such as flash cards, mind maps, quizzes, slides and flowcharts. This tool is particularly useful for students with large chunks of information to learn in short periods of time (looking at you, med students). Why not take some time during this break from normal university activity to discover all the ways GoConqr can help you improve your memory retention and ultimately your final test scores?

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CORE

We understand that scouring the internet for the perfect journal citation can be frustrating, especially when you think you have found the right source, only to discover a paywall or a restriction on access to the full publication. Avoid all the nasty pitfalls of online research by visiting CORE - an aggregated, open access platform that does all the hard work for you. CORE brings together open access sources from repositories and journals worldwide and makes them available to the public, for free. Sign up here.

Having access to online resources will be pivotal during this period of lockdown. It's well worth investing in a reliable internet source to keep up with virtual classes, assignments and research. Check out our list of top recommended internet service providers to get yourself set up. 

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