Blackboard problems? Try this!

If you didn’t notice, we did some necessary upgrades on Blackboard over the 4th of July holiday weekend.

There were changes as a result of the July 4th update which necessiate a reevaluation of your system.

Most folk are getting in fine, but there’s the occasional “Module loading” issue still at this point.

Make sure your operating system and browser combination is compatible with Blackboard. Find compatible configurations here: http://help.blackboard.com/en-us/Learn/9.1_2014_04/Administrator/010_Release_Notes/Supported_Technologies_for_End_Users

Doing these steps will make for a better Blackboard experience.

Spring 2014 – Final Exam Schedule

exam

The Final Exam schedule for Spring 2014 is now available! (Hey! It’s not even Spring Break! How can the final exam schedule be available??? :-)  )

Not all courses have exams during the May 12 – 14 (Monday – Wednesday) exam window, but many courses do.

The schedule can be found here: http://maryjane47.wordpress.com/spring-2014-exam-schedule/

It is subject to change and students are responsible for verifying the time, date and location with their instructors.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming!

Computer System Maintenance – Feb 17 – ALL DAY!

broken-computerComputer Services will be doing routine maintenance on Monday, February 17 (Presidents’ Day holiday) between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm. Um… yeah. All day.

This will affect access to ALL systems:  Web, Library, Genesis, Blackboard, Email, Banner – there will be NO access to these systems during the maintenance window. 

Things to consider:

–if you have any assignments, tests or something to be completed and turned in on this date, you should take this outage into consideration and plan ahead

–STUDENTS: for online and hybrid courses, we are very aware that, on holidays like this, working and adult students like to take advantage of the non-class days to complete assignments. Hopefully, your instructor prepared a list of “things you can do, even if Blackboard and the Library are not available” that you already have. After all, we’re not taking away textbooks or the entire internet, just Genesee things!  

–FACULTY: if you were going to catch up on grading or your own work, make sure you download papers before that Monday. Grading of tests and other online submissions will not be possible. Even access inside the building will be affected; coming to Batavia won’t let you get in.

 If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

Today is “Four Chaplains Day”

hawkes-logoNow, I’m not a really religious person. I was brought up Catholic, but at this point in my life, the Catholic Church and I have some fundamental differences of opinion.

That said, I do appreciate the community that one can find in any religion. There’s a sense of family and working together that many people embrace. The religious community — no matter what one’s faith — gives a sense of belonging that is a powerful attraction. It’s something I remember fondly and I’m glad to see that it hasn’t faded.

My dad receives The American Legion Magazine (hang in there, I do have a point) and I like to read through it. The military is another source of the community that holds people together. Put two military servicemen in the same space and they immediately have a connection between them.

The February 2014 edition of the magazine has an article about “Four Chaplains Day” — in honor of four men who died on February 3, 1043 when the transport ship Dorchester was torpedoed and eventually sank. The four chaplains — Methodist minister, Jewish rabbi, Reformed Church in America reverend and Roman Catholic priest — worked to save 230 of the men on that ship. They gave up their chances for living so that others could.

If you’d like to read more, it’s here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Chaplains

To just about everyone, the events of World War Two — seventy-one years ago — is only something you read about in history books (or on Wikipedia! ;-) ) and there are thousands of similar stories from the war. But sometimes… sometimes, it’s good to think about what has brought us to this time and place and what has made us the people we are.

 

 

Power Outage, Monday, January 20

virus

Ok, don’t fret! It’s only the early morning.

It’s the demon ‘routine maintenance’ thing that needs to be done, this time by National Grid.

Power to the Batavia campus will be turned off about 6 am on Monday, January 20 for ‘less than 2 hours’ so National Grid can do some maintenance.

Because we like to spin servers down gracefully, that means we will be spinning computers down starting about 5 am on Monday. We’ll be back online about an hour after National Grid is done — and they’ve been nicely accurate in their times, in previous scenarios — but it does take time to spin everything back up and make sure everything is working.

Summary:

All Genesee computer systems — including but not limited to: Web, Banner, Genesis, Blackboard, Email, Library — will be offline from about 5:00 am to 9:00 am on Monday, January 20.

So, everyone has a legitimate excuse to sleep in but once you’ve had that leisurely breakfast, you can work all day after that!

Questions? Before Monday, you can send an email to online@genesee.edu  Or leave a message here!

Computer Repair and Do-It-Yourself Maintenance

broken-computer

So maybe your computer is having a bad day. That happens.

But when your computer isn’t doing so well over a longer period of time, you need to think about what might be wrong and/or having someone else look at it.

Luckily, I have some resources for you.

The first is a “Routine Maintenance Guide” that is available here: http://windowssecrets.com/top-story/keep-a-healthy-pc-a-routine-maintenance-guide/ Fred Langa has been writing about computers for as long as I can remember, and he has some good suggestions in this article. This is an article that almost anyone can follow, you don’t need to be a computer expert to do these things!

But if the problem is beyond your capabilities, the Computer Repair Club has monthly clinics where the students in the Computer Repair program will look at your device — for free! If you need parts, they will charge for the parts… but sometimes all you need is something more than a quick tune up. The students in the program will do a best-effort attempt at getting your system up and running. Watch around campus for dates for the Clinics.

Beyond that, you’ll need to go to a repair shop and pay for assistance… not the best news, but sometimes you do need professional help with your system.

Good luck!

The Dis-Organized Course List

With the updates and fixes we (literally) just put into Blackboard, one major nuisance is that your organized class list has gone away.

If you didn’t know how to organize it, well, then you’ve missed out on a cool thing.

Click here for the video on how to organize your course listing.

Or, the steps:

  • point your cursor to the words “Course List”
  • look for the shadow-y “S” that appears on the right end of the block
  • click on the “S”
  • click the ticky box for “Group By Term”
  • un-clicky older terms you’re done with
  • an advanced option: if you point to the left end of the list, you get up and down arrows; use them to push Spring 2014 to the top of the list
  • click “Submit”

Ta-da!