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About the Author

Jaime Shetrone

Blackboard and Google Apps for Education Upgrade

There will be a scheduled Blackboard outage May 17 – 18. During the outage, Blackboard Learn will be upgraded to Service Pack 11 and will include new features like a survey tool and the on-the-fly embedded video tool, Video Everywhere.  At the same time Google Apps for Education will also be expanded from its current set of core apps—Gmail, Docs, Calendar, etc., — to a broad selection of new consumer apps: YouTube, Google+, Maps, Books, Picasa, etc. These new apps will provide VCCS students, faculty, and staff with access to an even more powerful suite of teaching, learning, social, and communication tools that can be used both inside and outside of the classroom.

However, there are some crucial steps that all students, faculty, and staff need to take to successfully access any Google Apps, including Gmail, after the upgrade. These steps are easy to accomplish and will only be required once.

  • First, after the scheduled outage (May 17th-18th) everyone must click through and agree to a new consumer Terms of Service (TOS) when you next login. No Google Apps can be accessed until users agree to these new TOS. To see these TOS, click here: http://www.email.vccs.edu/terms-of-service.
  • Second, when setting up a profile in Google Plus (G+), a Facebook-like social networking service included in the upgrade,  it is especially important that you enter  a correct date of birth (or at least a date of birth that will make you 13 years old or older). If you enter a date of birth indicating you are younger than 13, you will be permanently locked out of all Google services. This cannot be undone without significant effort and additional costs.

More information about VCCS Google Apps for Education can be found at http://www.email.vccs.edu/extra-apps (a Google Site, by the way).

Men’s Basketball gets first win of season

On November 16, the Blue Stars Men’s Basketball team recorded their first win of the season beating the Virginia Highlands Community College Wolves 76-64.  Freshman Damien Harris led all scorers with 22 points.  Virginia Western’s frontcourt of Sophomore Center Steven Richie and Forward Tyler Eckenroth utilized their size in the post scoring 12 and 13 respectively.  Blue Star point guards Darrius Cunningham and Jaylen Board pressured the Virginia Highland offense all game while combining for 17 points and causing 8 turnovers.  The win marks new Head Coach Ray Bare’s first collegiate victory.  Virginia Western’s next game is at home against New River Community College on Friday November 30 at 7:00 PM.

Fall Sports Combine for 5 Game Winning Streak

Last weekend the Blue Stars Women’s Volleyball and Men’s Soccer combined for a 5 game winning streak.
Volleyball snapped their losing streak by defeating Johnston Community College and Vance-Granville on Saturday Sept. 29. The Blue Stars, led by Freshman Elizabeth Jones’ middle blocking, beat the Jaguars and the Vanguards 3 sets to 0. Soccer has won 3 straight matches beating Bluefield College JV 4-2, Lord Fairfax Community College 11-2, and Wytheville Community College 12-0. Forward Tyler Linkous extended his goal scoring streak to 4 games while Captain David Gaylor III has amassed 4 goals and 4 assists.
Both teams travel Saturday Oct. 6 as Women’s Volleyball plays in the James Madison University Club Tournament and Men’s Soccer plays at John Tyler Community College.