Siyavula Open Source textbooks information evenings

Siyavula open source maths science text booksToday we had two conversations with Edu-board in East London who referred us to the Team at Siyavula in Cape Town. Following our telephone conversation, I must share the information below on their information evenings in Durban and Cape Town. We’re looking for a way to bring them to Port Elizabeth and East London, to major metropolitan areas in Eastern Cape. This will ensure the Eastern Cape refugees get text books depending on government or political assistance.

Siyavula Information Evening: Everything Maths and Science Textbooks

I think our website outlines most of what we do, but just to fill you in a bit further:

Siyavula is an education technology company, spun out of the Shuttleworth Foundation. We are a social enterprise that believes in sharing, community, collaboration and openness, and through the use of technology we strive to produce the best quality free educational resources out there. We write openly licensed textbooks, and this year our Grade 10-12 Maths and Physical Science textbooks were printed by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) for free distribution across South Africa. Every single learner in a government school that is taking Maths and / or Physical Science in Grades 10-12 should have received a copy of our textbooks, paid for by DBE. This is hugely exciting for Siyavula, but also for the world of open educational resources – as far as we know, this is a world first. The maths books and science books have their own websites. Mobile versions can be viewed on your cell phone at and

Additional Information:
Our textbooks are freely available for all educators and learners across the country to use, and are available in hard copy,  freely accessible online, in PDF for printing, EPUB format, via mobile phone and Mxit. Filled with relevant rich-media (YouTube videos, PowerPoint presentations and simulations), our digital textbooks are completely interactive and a dream to teach from. Educators can contextualise these digital textbooks by making their own versions of them.  Use our textbooks in conjunction with our online practice service, which compliments and supports the textbooks.  It shows learners where their weaknesses in the curriculum lie, and lets them practise exam style questions. Should you wish to own a hard copy, it will cost you R95 for the printing and postage, and the subscription to the Intelligent Practice Service costs R150 for a full year of practise, or R200 if bought with a textbook.

Please let me know should you need anything further.


How To Win Friends in the 21st century

How To Win Friends And Influence People classic book by Dale CarnegieThis section is based on the famous Dale Carnegie book, although I’m not going to give you the advice from his book because it is outdated when you consider the tremendous changes in society over the last 30 years, especially since the feminist revolution.

So many people who reach 30+ complain that all their friends are married or in long term relationships. And so they do not have anyone to hang out with or go out to party with. This leads to them exploring things like speed dating and other types of matchmaking services in an attempt to expand their social circle.

The fundamental thing that bonds people together is common interest. And in most cases you are friends with people who are more like you than unlike you. So this is where you would start to explore how to make new friends. What you have to start doing is to explore friendships with people based on the activities you participate in. So for example of you are a gym freak, and you spend 4 or more days per week at your local gym, it’s a good idea for you to start conversations with people who hang out at your gym. From there you can start building rapport over time.

Now how do you actually form friendships, especially if you have been single, for a long time. You simply start inviting people to join you out on other activities. You do not have to anything complicated but say for example you are having a braai at your place. This is the perfect time and place to invite new friends who can meet each other or existing friends. You have to remember that it does take some effort to get to know people. So you must be sure to make the barriers of entry as low as possible. So don’t even suggest a bring-n-braai instead buy everything and ask them to bring along their favourite drink.

One guy had this crazy way of making friends with women where he would invite them all out for drinks. They end up competing for his attention and this very healthy kind of attention is what creates rapport between people.

From Dale Carnergie here’s a few more specific tips:

Ways to Make People Like You:

  • Become genuinely interested in other people and smile
  • Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
  • Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  • Talk in the terms of the other person’s interest.
  • Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.

Something else I like to do for my friends is to send them information about things they are interested in via email. And whenever I meet up with them we start sharing stories about what’s happened in our lives. I ensure that we speak more about what’s happened in their lives than my own. It’s impossible not to talk about myself because inevitably they will ask me the same questions I’ve asked them. You can also use websites like Facebook to connect with old friends and new ones.