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April, 2017 CIO Update

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For the past week or so, I think I’ve been living in Seattle. However, the sun has made an appearance today and I believe that all of the April showers will in fact lead to May flowers.  For this month’s update, I would like to highlight two significant changes being driven by Microsoft and Google.

Windows 10 & Classrooms

This summer the Labs and Classrooms Computing team will be upgrading all centrally-supported classrooms with Windows 10, Microsoft’s latest operating system. The new OS will feature enhanced touch and annotation capabilities, an improved start menu experience, and better overall performance than previous versions of Windows.  In addition to these new end-user features, Windows 10 introduces a new type of resolution and text-size scaling which will enable a migration to full 1080p in most classrooms. This new feature will enhance visual clarity and text legibility for both instructors and students without making the text smaller or requiring the need to use zooming in most applications.

In addition to these new capabilities, Media Support Services will also be upgrading many classrooms with non-touch monitors to touch-enabled monitors during the upgrade to Windows 10.

Lastly, as part of the upgrade beginning before the start of the Fall semester, all centrally-scheduled classrooms will require users to log in using their eID. This move to requiring eID authentication better aligns classrooms with the security goals of the university to protect faculty, students, and staff while using VCU-owned equipment and reduce the risk of unauthorized use of these computers.

For more information and updates during the migration, stay tuned to the Classroom Technology blog here. If you have feedback for us or if you need to report an issue with a classroom, please reach out to us at or give us a call at 804-828-1098 on the Monroe Park Campus or 804-828-3400 on the MCV Campus.

Google Apps Becomes G Suite

Last fall, Google Apps officially rebranded and became G Suite.  With G Suite, information can flow freely between devices, apps, people, and teams, so great ideas never get left in the margins again.  G Suite is designed to bring people together, with real-time collaboration built in from the start.

Some favorite new features Collaboration Services has highlighted on their News page recently include:

  • Explore in Sheets helps you decipher data easily, whether you’re new to spreadsheets or an old formula pro. Just ask Explore — with words, not formulas — to get answers about your data.  
  • Rotated text, accounting number formats, and more in Google Sheets.
  • Link to cells in your spreadsheet by simply going to “Insert link” > “Select a range of cells to link” and type or highlight the desired range.  All this and more in Sheets.
  • Learn how to create a “table of contents” for your spreadsheet, direct others to specific content within your spreadsheet, and retain links to cells when you import spreadsheets from other applications.  
  • Videos inserted and played from your Google Drive or Google Slides, in addition to videos from YouTube.
  • Capitalization from the Format menu in Docs now.  Just select one of the following:
    • lowercase, to make all the letters in your selection lowercase.
    • UPPERCASE, to capitalize all the letters in your selection.
    • Title Case, to capitalize the first letter of each word in your selection.
  • Keep was moved to a G Suite core service for VCU. Keep is now accessible in Google Docs, so users can easily revisit and repurpose their notes.
  • Preview password-protected Microsoft Office documents, presentations, and spreadsheets in Drive.

Stay tuned in the months ahead for updates with Google Hangouts and Google Team Drive.

As we begin to approach the end of another academic year, I would like to thank everyone in Technology Services as well as our partners in other IT units for another great year in supporting VCU!

Thank you!


About This Entry

Published on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, at 5:05 pm by alhenson in the Technology Services: From the CIO blog.
Categories: Uncategorized

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