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A mobile device is no longer a nice-to-have in an age of disrupted school schedules, it is an essential learning tool for school children during times of national lockdowns. While it’s not a substitute for teacher-led classes or peer interaction, mobile technology can help children to avoid falling behind during school closures.

Alcatel identifies some ways that smartphones can enrich remote learning during the pandemic and recommends some of the most useful Android apps for schoolchildren:


A smartphone can put a wealth of rich learning materials at the learner’s fingertips. Check out Free Gutenberg Books for access to more than 58,000 free eBooks, which will keep the most curious young mind occupied during lockdown. The Kindle app is also a valuable resource for paid books.

Maths tutor

There are many great apps that children from the early years to Grade 12 can use to sharpen their skills with mathematics. MathU Infinity has classes and exercises from top South African teachers and engineers, making learning more engaging and effective.

Personal organiser

Outside the classroom, kids and parents need to take responsibility for staying on top of homework, deadlines and timetables. MyHomework is a homework agenda that makes it easy to keep track of assignments. School Planner helps you keep your timetable and daily schedule near at hand and plan your studies accordingly.


One of the things that kids miss most about school is the time spent with their peers. Houseparty is a face-to-face social network that makes connecting face to face effortless, helping them to maintain some contact with their friends when they can’t hang out together in the real world.

Virtual classroom

Tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams have become essential for remote schooling, allowing teachers and kids to see each other on video, share documents like schoolwork and work together on learning tasks. The Vodacom e-school website—zero-rated for data use—provides personalised learning experiences for students in grades R to 12. The learning content has been designed to supplement and support, all major subjects in the public and private school curricula.

Video content

YouTube Kids features video content curated for kids. The library is filled with family-friendly videos on all different topics—science, history, math, and some videos just for fun.


Apps can also help older kids and teenagers later this year when they’re preparing for exams. Via Afrika Test-Urself lets you choose your grade and subject to download tests on specific areas of each subject. Matric 2021 offers one-stop access to previous years’ exam papers across most subjects.