FAQ

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. The amount of assessments done on miEbooks depends on the school’s environment. Formative assessments can be completed through the ITSI Solution and miEbooks, but tests and examinations will still be completed in writing. Students will still use workbooks, depending on their individual school environment.

How much does the miEbooks app cost?

miEbooks is available – free of charge – from Google Play Store, Apple iTunes and the Windows Store. 

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 8 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. Some schools have included this in their e-policy. Ensure that the device has at least an 8-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.

How to buy e-books

Online schools currently purchase their e-books from ITSI Store. The following purchasing assistance refers to the process of purchasing e-books through ITSI Store.

Account creation

If you are a new user, go to store.it.si and select Register to create an account on ITSI Store. Fill in the required fields as the parent and click Register. Record your username and password for future reference. Log in and click on your name in the top-right corner to select Linked Users. Select Link new school user and enter your child's details. Select Save.

If you have a second child, repeat the previous step, and ensure the second child has also been successfully linked. Once you have added all your children's accounts, you can proceed to Browse E-books.

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 have used to register your account. This e-mail will contain your new password.

Buying e-books

Once you are logged in, click on Browse E-books. Please make sure that the correct child is selected when you choose e-books for purchase. If multiple children are linked to your account, you will be able to select each child respectively using the drop-down menu at the top of the page. You can filter your e-book search according to the fields provided, or search for the e-book title or ISBN. Once you have found the e-book that you are looking for, click on the Add button to add it to your cart. Once you have selected all of the required e-books, click on the cart in the top-right corner to display a list of the e-books selected. If you are happy with the selected e-books, click on Checkout.

How to use the filter to find the required e-books:

You can search for the required e-books by using any of the following filters:

  • Subject: A drop-down list displays the available subject choices. Choose the subject of the e-book that you are looking for.
  • Grade: Specify the grade of the child that you are selecting books for.
  • Language: Select the language of the e-book that you are looking for.
  • Publisher: You can further filter your search by specifying the publisher of the e-book.
  • Format: E-books are available in either EPUB or PDF format.
  • Search by text: Type in keywords to search for the required e-book (book title or ISBN).

Once you have identified the e-books that you need to purchase, click on Add to select them. These e-books are then added to your cart. The cart will indicate the total number of e-books selected. Click on the cart to display a list of the e-books selected.

Removing e-books from selection

If you added e-books that you do not want to purchase, you can remove them by selecting the Remove button next to the book.

Checkout

Once you have selected all of the e-books that you want to purchase, you can proceed with the payment by clicking on Checkout. If all of the purchase information is correct, select a Payment Method. You can Pay online or make a Cash deposit. You will be redirected to the relevant payment portal.

Paying for e-books

Payments are made via PayFast, a secure online payment portal. Follow the steps to complete your purchase based on the payment method you have chosen. For detailed instructions on how to use the PayFast portal, follow this link https://www.payfast.co.za/b/std/payment-methods. Once the payment has been made successfully, you will have access to the e-books in miEbooks.

Account settings and purchase history

Account Settings can be accessed when you click on your name in the top-right corner of the screen to select My Profile. These settings include the name, surname, e-mail address and password that you used to create an account on ITSI Store. If you wish to change your password, you can do it here. You may also enter a VAT number that will reflect on your invoices.

If you would like to view your purchase history on ITSI Store, click on your name in the top-right corner of the screen and select Purchase History. You will be able to view the status of purchased e-books and download an invoice.

E-book purchase status

Purchases have one of the following statuses:

  • Complete: The purchase has been completed successfully.
  • Pending: Confirmation of payment for the purchase has not yet been received. This occurs for several reasons, including payment via EFT. This does not necessarily mean that the payment has failed. If your payment persists as Pending for an extended time, please contact ITSI Helpdesk at +27 12 941 1546 or helpdesk@it.si for assistance.
  • Failed: The purchase was unsuccessful due to payment failure.
  • Cancelled: The purchase was cancelled by the user.

What device to purchase e-books from

It is preferred that e-books are purchased from a PC or laptop. Once the payment is successful, the e-books will automatically appear on the device (tablet, laptop or PC) that the miEbooks app is downloaded on. Thus, you don't have to purchase the e-books from the device that you intend on using.

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 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 helpdesk@it.si.

Our school is interested in using the ITSI Solution

Infrastructure requirements

The school needs an Enterprise Wi-Fi Network (high density and high usage access) that can handle the activity of the devices that will be used in the school. The students' tablets must connect and stay connected to the school server during the day. The school needs an adequate switching network with an industry accepted design. The school needs a 'school friendly' UTM device (firewall) if internet access is allowed and/or utilised by the school. A Linux server (supplied by ITSI) or server in line with the minimum server specifications (as identified by ITSI) is needed.

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?

The decision remains that of the school. Some schools have opted to purchase and supply students with devices. Most schools, however, require parents to purchase the devices.

Android, iOS, Windows or BYOD?

The situation differs from school to school. There are benefits and challenges to any one of the options. Some schools opt for BYOD (bring your own device), not specifying which platform they prefer as many students already own their own devices. The ITSI Solution and miEbooks runs on all three of these platforms. It is, however, important to consider the skills required to support various platforms and devices. In some instances, using a single platform may simplify support within the school environment.

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.

Do educators need a laptop/PC and a tablet?

Educators will only need a laptop/PC to push additional resources to miEbooks. It is advisable to have a laptop/PC and a tablet to know what the students experience.

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?

Internet access at the school depends on the school's e-policy. 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, but does not guarantee Internet access.