FAQ's on E-Learning at GLA

Table of Contents

•    General
•    Buying the right tablet
•    How to buy e-books
•    Account settings
•    How to access your e-books on miEbookss
•    Costs: What are the costs of e-learning to parents?
•    How does the cost of e-books compare to regular textbooks?
•    What about the distraction of Social Media?

General

What is an EPUB?

‘EPUB’ is short for electronic publication and is created by the International Digital Publishing Forum. EPUBs have fluid text that resize according to the screen size of the device.

Can I make highlights and notes in an e-book in miEbooks?

miEbooks allows students to create freehand or typed notes and highlights within the e-books, as well as generate a summary of all the highlights that have been made. This summary can be exported into a PDF document for the student to print. Everything is automatically saved on the school’s server and the device, and is backed-up in the cloud. This means that should students lose their devices, they can simply download miEbooks on a new device at no extra cost. All notes and highlights that have been made will also be downloaded, along with any content added by educators.

Can I keep my e-books for the rest of my school career?

As soon as you have downloaded your e-books, it is yours to keep. It will stay on your tablet until you decide to have it removed.

Will students lose the skill of writing?

No. Students will still use workbooks in most subjects. In-formal assessments will be completed through the miEbooks app, but formal tests and examinations will still be completed in writing.

How much does the miEbooks app cost?

miEbooks is part of the ITSI Solution and is available – free of charge – from Google Play Store, Apple iTunes and the Windows Store. miEbooks is currently not a stand-alone product.

Is it important to have the latest version of miEbooks?

Yes, updates to an app ensures that it stays up to date with the relevant changes to the various platforms and the dynamic nature of technology. ITSI continuously works to enhance the user’s experience and provide users with even more benefits.

Buying the right tablet

What are the minimum tablet specifications?

ANDROID
•    Tier one Android devices (e.g. Samsung, Acer, Asus, Sony, LG)
•    Quad Core CPU at 1.2 GHz processing speed
•    16GB internal storage space
•    2GB RAM
•    Android version 5 or higher (Lollipop or later)
•    A-grade Wi-Fi components
•    Battery life that can last up to 6 hours during video play
iOS
•    iOS 9 or higher
•    iPad 4 and higher, iPad Mini, iPad Air or iPad Pro
•    iPhone 6 or higher
WINDOWS
•    Tablet or laptop with Windows 10 or higher
•    16GB internal storage space
•    2GB RAM
GOOGLE CHROMEBOOKS
•    Google Chromebooks that support Android Play Store apps (e.g. Asus Chromebook Flip, Acer Chromebook R11 / C738T, Google Chromebook Pixel (2015))

What should the battery life be?

The device's battery should be able to last an entire school day. The device must be charged at home and brought to school with 100% battery power. This is also specified in our Device Specifications. Ensure that the device has at least an 6-hour battery life on high definition video playback.

Where can I purchase a tablet?

You can purchase a tablet from any reputable tablet supplier. The most important aspects to look at is the minimum specifications for devices prescribed by ITSI. You can use your own preferences when it comes to the operating system (Windows, Android, iOS) or screen size. Also pay attention to the after sales support you will receive from the supplier.

GLA has informed True Technologies of the minimum tablet requirements. They should be able to give professional advice on buying the correct tablet for your pocket. Kindly contact True Technologies or download their latest product list offering devices ranging between R2670.00 and R8700.00. Tel. 042 293 4168 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Your are also welcome to view avaialable devices on www.takealot.com.

!!Ensure the device you buy, meets the minimum 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage requirements, as well as the correct operating system as listed in our Device Specifications!!

How to buy e-books

E-Books will be bought through the school. An order form will be given to parents during the fourth term, which they must then complete and submit with proof of payment.
Account creation
Once enrolled, the school will automatically create an account for each child and communicate the login details. Once logged in on your miEbooks app, your text books will automatically download when connected to the school’s internal Wi-Fi.

Log in as an existing user

If you have an existing account, click on Login and enter your existing username and password. If you have forgotten your password, click on Forgot your password?. An e-mail will be sent to the e-mail address that you provided to register your account. This e-mail will contain your new password.

Why can't I transfer e-books from one child to another?

Due to the fact that each learner makes his/her own notes and annotations inside the e-books, and specific resources are added to the e-books each year, they cannot be transferred between users as all annotations will be lost. Thus, if you bought a Grade 8 Mathematics book in 2016 and have another child in Grade 8 in 2017, you will have to purchase the same e-book again for the second child.

How to access your e-books on miEbooks

Where to download the miEbooks app

Android: Google Play Store
iOS: Apple iTunes
Windows: Windows Store

How to log in to miEbooks

•    Ensure that the device is connected to the School's WiFi or Internet throughout this process.
•    Once miEbooks has downloaded, open the app and click on Continue.
•    Select School Account.
•    Type in your username and password (as provided by the school).
•    Click on Save.
•    Wait for the library to load. Once the e-books appear, click on the cover to start the downloading process.
•    Once the download is complete, tap on the cover to open the e-book.
Should you require any further assistance, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Are tablets/devices stored at the school or do students take it home with them?

The ITSI Solution is ideally used in a 1:1 environment. This means that every student should have their own device. The device replaces their textbooks, which means they would use it to study at home.

Does the school or parent buy the device?

We require parents to purchase the device.

Android, iOS, Windows?

Currently our Device and E-Learning Policy specifies that each child can bring their own choice of device.

Are the e-books CAPS compliant?

The e-books that are available are supplied by leading South African and international educational publishers. These titles are aligned to the CAPS policy documents. A variety of e-books supplied through the ITSI Solution also adhere to international curricula.

Can educators add their own content to miEbooks?

Yes, educators can add various resources to existing e-books or create their own content – either as educator folders or complete e-books – and add this to the ITSI Solution to supply to students securely within the school environment.

What does it mean for an educator to add additional resources into an e-book?

Educators are able to add resources to any section of the e-book. The following resources can be added:
•    Images
•    Videos
•    PDFs
•    URLs
•    PowerPoint presentations
•    Excel spreadsheets
•    Word documents
•    Text files
•    Calendar events, such as homework (which is linked to the student's diary)
•    Class assessments (tests) that the educator has created
Educators can send additional resources to students at any time, given that they have an Internet connection. The calendar function assists educators with keeping students up to date with homework, school events and announcements. This is a great way of integrating the educator's current method of teaching with 21st century learning.

How would students receive resources from educators?

If a student is connected to the school's Wi-Fi and logged in to miEbooks, resources will automatically start downloading. The students will not incur data charges as it is all transferred through the school's Wi-Fi network. Students can also receive resources at home, given that they are connected to the Internet. This will, however, result in data charges.

Do students need to have access to the Internet at school?

No. Students do not need to access the Internet to use miEbooks or download resources. The Wi-Fi allows the students to connect to the school's server.

What are the costs of E-Learning to parents?

The below figures provide an overview of the estimated costs for e-learning integration. It includes the subscription to ITSI network, the e-books to be used as well as the initial expense of buying a tablet. The cost of insurance, anti virus software, etc. is at the discretion of the parent.

Projected cost to parents for E-Learning 2018:

Subscription:    R474.00 (Once off)
E-Books           R1000.00 (Average cost)
Tablets:           R3 500.00 (Average cost)
Total:             R4 974.00        

Projected cost to parents for E-Learning 2019:

Subscription:   R460.00
E-Books          R1 000.00 (Average cost)
Total:            R1 462.00        

Projected cost to parents for E-Learning 2020:

Subscription:  R440.00
E-Books         R1 000.00 (Average cost)
Total:           R1 440.00      

How does the cost of e-books compare to regular textbooks?

The two charts below compares the cost of traditional textbooks, to that of the exact same e-books for the 2017 school year in Grade 9 and 11 respectively. Even with the yearly subscription fee, the cost for the e-books are significantly lower than that of regular textbooks.

comparisson2

comparisson2

 

What about the distraction of Social Media?

As a school promoting christian values and positive self-leadership, it is important for us to educate our learners on how to positively interact with technology and social media. The GLA Device and E-Learning Policy deals extensively with this issue. That said, one of the key aspects of the www.it.si  platform is that e-learning can be completely functional in “offline mode” and under our policy, kids should not have, or require any access to the internet. This, amongst other rules and regulations in our Device and E-Learning Policy, addresses the constant need to check for updates, latest news, etc. in a connected world.

The devices should according to us, be solely used for educational purposes, and no other apps should be installed on the device. Through the miEbooks app it is the teachers responsibility to create a content rich environment, that will stimulate learning and interest.

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