12 Reads of Christmas: Apps

There are so many apps available that it is difficult to know where to start.
Here are some recommended ones that are worth looking at:

Star Chart – aim your phone at the night sky
and learn more about the universe, space and planets.

Star chart

Memrise – learn a new language – explore new words and phrases and learn how to speak, read and write in a whole host of languages.
Duolingo – a great fun app for language learning


CamScanner – this app is great for scanning documents on the go into clear & sharp images/PDFs, to email, fax, print or save to cloud.  Just take a photo of the page you need and this app will convert it to a searchable file you can edit.


Moment Diary – plan to keep a diary next year? This app is a useful way to collate creative thoughts and ideas.

Moment Diary

There’s lots more apps out there.
Check these websites for more ideas.






Software upgrades (student desktop & teaching rooms)

There will be a rolling program of software upgrades to the HWU student desktop and the teaching rooms over the summer.

The upgrades will allow staff and students to benefit from new features offered on the more recent versions of software.

Applications that will be upgraded are: –


See Software at HWU for more information on these applications.

Staff that wish to upgrade their home PCs to the new versions should contact ithelp@hw.ac.uk

Turnitin upgrade & staff training

turnitinTurnitin has released a major product upgrade that will soon be available at Heriot-Watt University. The new version of the service, called Turnitin Feedback Studio, offers all the functionalities of Turnitin, but with a simplified, more intuitive interface designed for the modern classroom. Turnitin Feedback Studio will make it faster and easier than ever to promote academic integrity, provide actionable feedback, and evaluate student learning at Heriot-Watt University.

We plan to upgrade our version of Turnitin to Feedback Studio on 1st August 2017.

Once upgraded, you can expect to see a new interface when you open up a student’s paper in Turnitin. Your students will also experience this new and improved interface when viewing Similarity Reports and receiving feedback.

To get acquainted with the upgraded Turnitin Feedback Studio and prepare for a successful implementation, you can:

To support this transition and build on the use of Turnitin across HWU, a one hour online training session will be available (and recorded for later viewing).

  • When: 19/05/2017 at 10.00 BST
  • Where: Online

If you have not received a calendar invite to the online training, but would like to attend, please contact ISAdmin@hw.ac.uk

Skype upgrade: Information for users

Following a recent Microsoft upgrade of the Skype app some users are experiencing problems when using Skype over the HWU eduroam service.

Feedback from users, and our own tests, indicate that the Skype app V7.XX does not work over eduroam but earlier versions may also be affected.

Solution: use Skype for Business for calls/meetings from HWU via eduroam

skypeforbusinessimageSkype for Business is free to staff and students and integrates well with Office 365. It incorporates voice calls, video calls, Instant Messaging, online meetings and screen sharing. See Skype for Business for details.

Note for Mac users

The issue of not being able to import or search for recipients outside of the Heriot-Watt Contacts List using Skype for Business remains.  You should use a Windows version of Skype for Business to search for or import contacts.

EndNote help and support

The suppliers of EndNote have just launched a new EndNote LibGuide that you might find useful. The guide provides information for users, trainers and administrators – so a useful resource for everyone that uses or works with EndNote.

The version of EndNote currently on the HWU student desktop is EndNote 7, but you’ll find support for EndNote 8 under the Users tab in the guide (handy if you’ve bought your own copy of the software).


You can also find links and support materials on our own webpages.

Vision/Blackboard Webinars for staff

bbwebinarA new series of webinar training is now available for using Vision/Blackboard.

  • When: Ongoing recordings are available
  • How: Self enrol onto the Vision course: Bb Training Webinar Series

This series of webinar provides instruction on the essential features and functions of Blackboard Learn™ 9.1. (Vision).

Through a variety of activities, including hands-on exercises, participants learn how to organise and build a course online, monitor and assess student performance, and use communication tools to enhance interaction.

Throughout the workshop, participants discuss pedagogical principles related to online learning, along with best practices for teaching in both Web-enhanced and fully online environments.

The Webinar series covers three broad themes:

  • Course Design
  • Assessment
  • Connectivism

Live webinars will be recorded and added to the Bb Training Webinar Series course.

To Self Enrol:

  1. Login to Vision
  2. Click Courses tab
  3. Type Bb train into search box – Click Go
  4. Hover over Bbtrainweb – Bb Training Webinar Series – Click arrow
  5. Click Enrol
  6. Click Submit
  7. Click OK

That is it!  You are now enrolled and will see the Bb Training Webinar Series in My Courses

MS Imagine & On The Hub services unavailable: 7th February

Our supplier has informed us that they will be carrying out maintenance on our hosted MS Imagine and the On The Hub web store next week.

  • Date: 7th February
  • Time: 12 noon – 2 pm (GMT)

Both services will be unavailable during this time.

See Software for Personal Use for full details of free and discounted software available to HWU staff and students.

Inspiration or MindGenius – take your pick…

Inspiration and MindGenius are mind mapping applications.

You could use mind mapping applications to

  • brainstorm ideas
  • summarise a topic or course in a more visual format
  • plan your thesis or dissertation
  • identify relationships between ideas
  • plan group activities
  • strengthen understanding of a topic or concept, and build retention – especially if you’re a visual learner
  • add colour and pictures to improve memory recall


There are two mind mapping applications on the Heriot-Watt network – MindGenius and Inspiration – both have tablet versions available. See

You can also download the full version of MindGenius to your own PC or laptop see Software for Personal Use.

You can see MindGenius in action at the Power Hour on 9th February 2017 at 12:15 on the Edinburgh campus – see MindMap with MindGenius for details.

12 Apps of Christmas: MindGenius and SimpleMind

Today is the last day of our 12 Apps of Christmas feature. We hope you’ve found some useful new apps that will help you. For our final post, we’re going to look at two apps that help you to create mind maps – MindGenius for iPad and SimpleMind. Mind maps are fantastic tools for brainstorming, helping you to visualize and plan essays and projects. If you’ve never used them before, why don’t you look at our Power Hours or contact your campus library for help getting started.

MindGenius for iPad icon

MindGenius allows you to make mind maps from scratch or by using a broad range of templates. As a companion to the MindGenius software installed on all IS supported PCs, the iPad app allows you to work on your mind maps while on the go. You can also get the full software for use on your home Windows PC.

To download the software and iPad app, follow the instructions on the IS website


If you don’t have an iPad, there are other mind mapping apps available. One such app is SimpleMind. It is a straight forward and easy to use app that lets you build and edit mind maps on the go. There is a basic, free version and a premium version with some additional features. To compare the two, go to the website.

To download, go to:

Android: SimpleMind

iOS: SimpleMind

Microsoft Office 2016 – optional upgrade for staff

Microsoft Office 2016 is now available for deployment to the HWU managed staff desktop*.

If you wish to upgrade your PC or laptop please email the IT HelpDesk (ithelp@hw.ac.uk) stating: –

  • your UserID
  • your computer name**
  • that you wish your computer to be upgraded to Microsoft Office 2016

The upgrade will run overnight and we will let you know when your upgrade will take place.

Please note that the upgrade will remove Microsoft Office 2013 completely.

If you have any queries regarding the either of these upgrades please contact the IT Helpdesk.

* Managed desktops and laptops are:

  • All staff desktops and laptops in Professional Services
  • All staff/postgraduate desktops in SoSS
  • Windows 7 desktops and laptops in EGIS where users log on with their HWU UserID and password
  • Windows 7 desktops and laptops in EPS where users log on with their HWU UserIDaboutmypc and password

** You can find your PC/laptop name in About My PC on your desktop.  It has the following format –  HWPC**** or HWLAP****

To help you get started with Office 2016 see What’s new and improved in Office 2016 for Office 365

You’ll find other useful links on our Software guides & tutorials page

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