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Free sites for students and staff

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

The following sites are open to students and staff. This means that you won’t need inetkey to access them and your account won’t be billed. Most of these are for academic purposes. In addition to this, you can also request free access to other sites you need for academic and research purposes. Therefore, if you need to access a site regularly for work, let us know by sending an email to



First ransomware targeting Apple Mac users

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

Ransomware, one of the fastest-growing cyber threats, encrypts data on infected machines, then asks users to pay ransoms in hard-to-trace digital currencies to get an electronic key so they can retrieve their data (more previous ramsomware articles on our blog).

The “KeRanger” ransomware, which appeared last week, was the first functioning ransomware attacking Apple’s Mac computers.

Read more on the new Mac ransomware.

If you have any enquiries or need assistance, please contact us at

E-textbook pilot project

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016


The e-textbook pilot is a collaboration between Information Technology and the Faculty of Law which will offer e-textbooks as an option for first year students in one or more of their modules and extended to the postgraduate programme in Public and Development Management at SPL. The introduction of e-textbooks will allows us to explore the strength and weaknesses of the e-reader technology and to determine the usefulness of the technology in the classroom.

Students require flexible mechanisms to have access to their academic resources, access to learning managements system, library resources and any academic or information resources is a requirement for on or off campus. The goals of the e-textbook pilot with the Law Faculty and School of Public Leadership (SPL) are:

· Explore the current strengths and weaknesses of the e-reader technology
· To determine the usefulness of this technology in the classroom
· Reduce the high cost of traditional textbooks and increase the attractiveness of e-textbooks
· Evaluate the availability of the e-textbook resource on more than one device
· Increase the usage of the required e-textbooks through institutional purchase.

The drivers for the pilot of e-textbooks include the electronic delivery of course material as a possible replacement of traditional printed textbooks, the adoption of e-reader technology as part of the curriculum renewal and meeting the technology expectations of the knowledge economy.

Are you involved in any e-book initiatives on campus? Share your story with us by sending an e-mail


Office Mix – PowerPoint, just better

Friday, April 24th, 2015

As the need for a richer educational experience increases, so does the demand for software and apps encouraging and facilitating better and more interaction and collaboration between students and their educators.

office mix2

Of course, we wouldn’t expect any less of Microsoft, who last year, launched Office Mix. According to Microsoft Office Mix was originally created to help educators implement new teaching methods, using the simplicity of PowerPoint. It brings “the same benefits to the professional e-Learning community, with support for SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model), the industry standard for packaging of digital learning content.”

With functions like voice, video and digital ink, polls and interactive apps, insights and analytics and playback on any device, the PowerPoint add on promises to make is easy to turn slides “into interactive online lessons and presentations.”

Teachers can record themselves while presenting and create a video of their presentation. They can write on slides using “digital ink” and insert quizzes, polls, videos, screen captures, screen recordings and other elements. Students can view the interactive document on the Office Mix website.

For analysis after the presentation, statistics are available as well.

To use Office Mix, you will need Office 2013 or Office 365. You can now download it locally from our IT support website.


New tool for critical analysis of academic texts

Friday, April 17th, 2015

With the help of Stellenbosch University, and particularly InnovUS, we have developed Abstrahere Academic, which is a web application and tool to assist masters and doctoral students in the critical analysis of academic texts.

Accademic-logoAbstrahere Academic focuses on academic environments, and assists master’s and PhD students to improve and apply their critical reading skills – an important part of their thesis writing. Open and healthy communication between student and academic supervisor about critical text analysis is an integral part of the reading and writing process.

Master’s and doctoral students received an e-mail invitation from WARP Development to obtain access to the Abstrahere Academic application on the following link:

Using the application, you can upload scientific articles directly by selecting either File or URL. You will then be guided by online prompts to analyse the content, and by submitting your responses to a Critical Reading Box you make your own unique summaries for inclusion in the literature survey, theoretical foundations, discussion or conclusions of your thesis/dissertation.

How will Abstrahere Academic assists students with academic reading material?
  • You will be guided to critically assess academic literature in your own unique way.
  • Abstrahere prompts will guide you to summarize the essential ideas in the academic texts you have selected to read.
  • Your Abstrahere Critical Reading Box summaries will better prepare you to select text from academic literature for inclusion in your dissertation.
  • Optional prompts guide you how to manage your own Abstrahere Critical Reading box summaries.
  • You can communicate directly on line with your dissertation supervisor about your Critical Reading Box summaries.

Al documents uploaded on Abstrahere Academic must be in Pdf format. Please remember to activate your Inetkey for on-campus internet access, and to use Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome as your web browser (please do not use Internet Explorer because specific Pdf plug-in technical issues are related to Internet Explorer)

Background information on this application is available at We would greatly appreciate your feedback on this application. Please send your feedback to


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