Blog

Moodle Cloud Integrates BigBlueButton

Martian Dougiamis, the creator of Moodle and CEO of Moodle Pty, announced today the integration of BigBlueButton into Moodle Cloud, a free on-line version of Moodle available to teachers world-wide.

moodle

 

All teachers signing up for Moodle Cloud will receive an integration version of BigBlueButton, giving them the ability to interact with students in real-time from within a Moodle course. The integrated version is limited to 6 users in a session and does not support recordings.

The integration of BigBlueButton and Moodle gives remote students both a synchronous and asynchronous learning environments in one solution.  For more information see Moodle Launches MoodleCloud – Free Hosting for Educators.

BigBlueButton Summit VI

The sixth BigBlueButton developers summit was held in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada from May 4th to May 8th, 2015. During the summit the project committers and developers collaborated together (and developed together) for a week to advance BigBlueButton for the needs of the community.

Thanks to all the developers who joined us

  • Anton Georgiev
  • Calvin Walton
  • Chad Pilkey
  • Danny Perrone
  • Felipe Cecagno
  • Fred Dixon
  • Leonardo Crauss Daronco
  • Lucas Zawacki
  • Mateus Dalepiane
  • Max Doumit
  • Maxim Khlobystov
  • Oleksandr Zhurbenko
  • Richard Alam
  • Stephane Dame

And thanks to all the commercial companies that made this summit possible

  • Blindside Networks
  • HostBBB
  • iCES Corporation
  • Seneca College
  • Mconf Technologies

At the end of the summit, the team made two presentations on the status of the project and the plans ahead.  These presentations were made, of course, using BigBlueButton.  Here are links to the recordings for those who missed the live presentations.

Thanks to everyone who travelled Ottawa!

BigBlueButton 0.9.0

We are pleased to announce the release of BigBlueButton 0.9.0, our twelfth release to date.

BigBlueButton is an open source web conferencing system for on-line learning.

Screen Shot 2012-03-01 at 8.28.35 AM

Major features of this release include:

  • Improved audio using web real-time communication (WebRTC) support in FireFox and Chrome web browsers
  • Instructors can now choose which segments of the session are recorded using the Start/Stop Record button
  • Users now test their microphone before joining the audio bridge and, if they wish, can join in Listen Only mode

We believe every student with a web browser should have access to a high-quality on-line learning experience.  This release is a significant step towards that goal.

“We at National University College-Online Division are very happy with our change to BigBlueButton. With our previous solution we had over 50 support tickets/month. After switching to BigBlueButton, that number dropped to 6 or 7 tickets/month. With our previous solution we used to get tickets from both students and faculty. But now with BigBlueButton we are only receiving tickets from faculty which demonstrates how user friendly this solution can be for students.” says Mariangie del Valle, Senior Director, Information Technology, National University College-Online.

You’ll find detailed information on this release — including detailed overview, installation instructions, configuration, development instructions, and a frequently asked questions (FAQ) at our new documentation web site http://docs.bigbluebutton.org/.

For short tutorial videos on using BigBlueButton see http://bigbluebutton.org/videos.

The BigBlueButton client is localized in over 30 languages.  This localization effort is done entirely by our community.

We look forward to seeing educational institutions, commercial companies, and the BigBlueButton community at-large build upon this new release to delivery a high-quality on-line learning experience to remote students.

BigBlueButton 0.9.0-RC Released

The BigBlueButton project is extremely pleased to announce the availability of BigBlueButton 0.9.0-RC (release candidate).  The release candidate marks the final stage before general release (expected within a few days).

This will be our twelfth release of BigBlueButton, the open source web conferencing for on-line learning. The project’s goal is to provide remote students a high-quality on-line learning experience.

This release provides a significant improvement in audio quality: for users of Firefox and Chrome, BigBlueButton now uses the browser’s built-in support for sending and receiving audio via web real-time collaboration (WebRTC).  Users who don’t want to share their microphone during a class can can also join in the new Listen Only mode.

Moderators now have a Start/Stop button to control which segments of their class will be recorded (our most requested feature for this release).  Also, moderators can now restrict public and private chat using the Lock Viewers settings, which locks down communications between students when, for example, they must take an on-line test using the school’s learning management system (LMS) during the session. 

This release is the culmination of eleven months of full-time development by the core developers and a further five months of beta testing/updating by developers around the world, commercial companies and the BigBlueButton community at-large.

The project believes that synchronous on-line learning should be easy to accomplish for both instructor and student.  As with each release, we invest significant effort in refining the simplicity and elegance of the user interface.

“We at National University College-Online Division are very happy with our change to BigBlueButton. With our previous solution we had over 50 support tickets/month. After switching to BigBlueButton, that number dropped to 6 or 7 tickets/month. With our previous solution we used to get tickets from both students and faculty. But now with BigBlueButton we are only receiving tickets from faculty which demonstrates how user friendly this solution can be for students.” says Mariangie del Valle, Senior Director, Information Technology, National University College-Online.

BigBlueButton’s adoption has grown amongst major LMS vendors.  Moodle, SakaiCanvas and Schoology all offer native integrations with BigBlueButton, thereby giving their user-base and customers easy access to BigBlueButton’s capabilities from within their systems.  For easy integration with other learning management systems, BigBlueButton is certified by the IMS as learning tools interoperability (LTI) 1.0 compatible (see LTI Integration).

For more information see release notes, overview, architecture, and, if you’d like to setup your own BigBlueButton server at your educational institution, installation steps.

 

BigBlueButton joins the Open Invention Network (OIN) to help protect open source against patent trolls and patent aggression

Back in March of this year, BigBlueButton joined the Open Invention Network.

Here’s what Keith Bergelt, the CEO of OIN had to say:

“We are pleased to have BigBlueButton become an OIN licensee. With over 1300 members in the OIN community, BigBlueButton and other OIN licensees enjoy the support of a growing ecosystem that values freedom of action over patent litigation in Linux and open source technologies. As a community, we have collectively decided to take an active stand against unnecessary patent aggression.”

From the OIN website:

“Open Invention Network is an intellectual property company that was formed to promote Linux by using patents to create a collaborative environment. It promotes a positive, fertile ecosystem for Linux, which in turns drives innovation and choice in the global marketplace. This helps ensure the continuation of innovation that has benefited software vendors, customers, emerging markets and investors.”

With investment from some of the best-known companies in the technology sector, including, Google, IBM, NEC, Philips, Red Hat, Sony, and SUSE, OIN has the backing and resources to succeed. There are many different parts and programs, and three areas are particularly exciting for us at BigBlueButton:

1. The OIN defensive patent pool holds more than 950 global patents and patent applications to discourage legal threats against Linux and Linux-related open source software applications. By signing the OIN license agreement, BigBlueButton gets royalty-free access to this pool and cross licensing of Linux System patents between OIN community members. This includes much of the innovative work from the early days of web conferencing and collaborative groupware created by companies such as Contigo, Raindance and others. BigBlueButton also commits to not asserting patents against the open source community.

The OIN patent pool is especially useful in privateering situations, where a patent troll (with no assets or operations other than patent litigation) is owned by an operating company with products, customers, and an operating business. OIN patents could be asserted against the operations of the parent company or its other subsidiaries, levelling the playing field against a troll.

2. Linux Defenders is a program designed to eliminate poor quality patents and ensure that only high-quality patents issue. It includes a growing library of “defensive publications” and a database of technical documents and other prior art contributions that can be used to inform patent examiners and reviewers. Patents that are obvious or “anticipated” are less likely to be granted, and more likely to be defeated when challenged. An OIN member threated by a patent troll could use Linux Defenders to slow or block new patent applications by the troll.

3. Finally, OIN has a history of getting involved in patent matters that benefit the larger open source community — by addressing weak or overly-broad patents, acquiring critical patents, supporting defensive publications, and investing strategically where broader principles are involved or multiple projects are threatened.

Collectively, these programs foster a positive collaborative environment for open source software and limit the negative effects of patent-based challenges by companies antagonistic to open source innovation.

BigBlueButton stands together with the OIN community to protect open source against threats. For more information about the Open Invention Network, its goals and activities, and how your organization can join, we recommend the OIN website (https://www.openinventionnetwork.com) and an excellent article by Deb Nicholson, the OIN Director of Community Outreach, in the Technology Innovation Management Review.