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UNINETT, NORDUnet, and AARNET supporting WebRTC integration for BigBlueButton

There are two initiatives underway within the BigBlueButton project that will see a lot of exposure in the coming months: the HTML5 client for BigBlueButton and support for WebRTC.

We want to thank UUINETT, NORDUnet (Nordic Infrastructure for Research and Education), and AARNET (Australia’s Academic and Research Network) for supporting our efforts to research and prototype the WebRTC integration for BigBlueButton.

In particular, we want to thank Jan Meijer for his help in coordinating the support. Jan works at UNINETT, which develops and operates the Norwegian research network, which connects more than 200 Norwegian educational and research institutions and over 300 000 users, and linking them to international research networks.

You’ll be seeing a lot more visible activity on WebRTC integration in the coming months, and it’s the above organizations that have helped make it possible.

BigBlueButton is a Mozilla Ignite Challenge Winner

We are pleased to announce that that BigBlueButton is one of the top winners of the Mozilla Ignite Challenge.  See this blog post at whitehouse.org for details.

Thanks to Mozilla Ignite and US Ignite for their support of our open source project.  The monies provided from the Mozilla Ignite Challenge has enabled our project us to hold two developer summits (fall 2012 and spring 2012) and to advance the ongoing work to create a BigBlueButton HTML5 client that uses WebRTC (see HTML client).

BigBlueButton 0.81 Beta Released

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We are pleased to announce the release of BigBlueButton 0.81-beta.

This release is a step towards 0.81 final, which will be our eleventh release to date. This beta release reflects over twelve months of effort by many organizations and individuals (see below) to advance BigBlueButton in the areas of stability, usability, and functionality (in that order).

Major contributing organizations for this release:

BigBlueButton Committers for this release:

What’s new in this release:

  • Simplified interface – BigBlueButton now has a consolidated Users window for easier session management and a more consistent user interface (including updated skin and icons) to help new users get started quickly.
  • Layout Manager – BigBlueButton now enables users to choose from a number of preset layouts to quickly adapt to different modes of learning.
  • Recording – BigBlueButton now records for playback all during a session (including desktop sharing).
  • Text tool for whiteboard – Presenters can now annotate their slides with text.
  • New APIs – The BigBlueButton API now includes the ability to dynamically configure each client on a per-user bases, thus enabling developers to configure the skin, layout, modules, etc. for each user. There is also a JavaScript interface to control the client.
  • Accessibility – BigBlueButton now supports screen readers JAWS (version 11+) and NVDA. A list of keyboard shortcuts have been added to make it easier to navigate through the interface using the keyboard.
  • LTI Support – BigBlueButton is IMS Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) 1.0 compliant. This means any LTI consumer can integrate with BigBlueButton without requiring custom plug-ins.
  • Mozilla Persona – The API demos now include examples of how to sign into a BigBlueButton session using Mozilla Persona.
  • Support for LibreOffice 4.0 – BigBlueButton now uses LibreOffice 4.0 for conversion of of MS Office documents (upload of PDF is still recommend to provide best results).

Since the release of 0.80 we have closed over 140 issues.  For more links, see Release Notes

For an overview of the new interface and controls, see

See also these developer videos:

To install this release, see Installation of 0.81-beta.

We will now focus our efforts on getting to a release candidate 0.81 (which includes updating all the localization language files) and then a final release of 0.81.  We want to thank all the members of our community that helped us test and gave feedback on earlier builds.

We believe any student with a web browser should have access to a high quality on-line learning experience. We intend to make that possible using BigBlueButton.

This release is a significant step towards realizing that goal.

New Videos

We’re getting closer to the release BigBlueButton 0.81 (our eleventh release to date). Here are two new videos we’ve created that show how to use BigBlueButton from the perspective of a viewer and moderator/presenter.

For Viewer:

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For Moderator/Presenter:

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Enjoy!

Recordings from BigBlueButton Spring Summit 2013

We held the BigBlueButton Spring Summit 2013 last week.  During the day we had five on-line sessions with members of the community.

Here are the recordings from the sessions (use FireFox or Chrome for playback):

Thanks to everyone who participated!