Campus Technology Magazine Covers BigBlueButton’s use at Carleton University

The January 2013 edition of Campus Technology Magazine ran an article titled Collaborating Via Web Conference: Advanced in video conferencing make it easier for students and faculty to work together that explores the experiences of a group of universities and colleges using on-line collaboration tools in the classroom.

One of the universities covered in the article is Carleton, based on Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. In reflecting on Carleton’s experience with BigBlueButton, Patrick Lyons, Director of Instructional Technologies, stated:

As soon as Carleton switched to BigBlueButton, the adoption rate “went through the roof” — Patrick Lyons

You can view the article on-line here (free signup).

Testing BigBlueButton HTML5 prototype with Dearborn Michigan Public Schools

Last week we did our first external test a prototype BigBlueButton HTML5 client running on iPads (and we stress the word prototype here).

The test involved a group of high school students at one school giving remote presentations to middle school students at another school. The high school students used the BigBlueButton client running in a web browser, while the remote middle school students used only iPads (running BigBlueButton HTML5 prototype) to view the presentations.

We want to give BIG thanks to Chris Kennenberg and Troy Patterson at Dearborn Michigan Public Schools for organizational the test.   Below is a screen shot of the HTML5 interface.


BigBlueButton HTML5 Prototype Running on an iPad

The BigBlueButton team has been working on creating an HTML5 interface for BigBlueButton.

The first phase of the project is to create an HTML5 client that supports two-way chat, and one-way presentation, user list, audio and video.  We definitely want to support iOS devices with an HTML5 client and yesterday we got the first working integration of streaming audio and video for the HTML5 client displaying on an iPad (see screen shot below).

BigBlueButton iPad Prototype

The ongoing work on an HTML5 interface for BigBlueButton is occurring parallel to the development effort on BigBlueButton 0.81.  The HTML5 client will not be part of the 0.81 release; rather, it will be merged into a subsequent release.  We also have plans to revise the HTML5 UI Design.

While getting an HTML5 client running on iPad is still in the prototype stages, it was cool to see it working!


Revisiting the HTML 5 UI Design

Revisiting the HTML 5 UI Design

Recently, at the BigBlueButton HackFest, Tyler Copeland, BigBlueButton’s UI designer created a revised user interface for the HTML 5 client. The revisions were based on using the current HTML 5 prototype, along with initial feedback from current BigBlueButton users.


Recordings from BigBlueButton Summit 2012

It was a productive day of workshops and collaboration with the BigBlueButton community during the summit.  Here are the recordings from the sessions.

Overview: Growing the BigBlueButton Community

Fred Dixon, BigBlueButton Project Manager, spoke of the history and growth of the BigBlueButton project (click image below to playback recording).

Session #1: BigBlueButton User Experience Feedback

Bruce Tuji chaired a session on feedback for BigBlueButton. Bruce shared his experiences using BigBlueButton at Carleton University.

The feedback from the community on improving the usability included

  • Create a ‘pre-flight’ checklist to give the user feedback (before they join a BigBlueButton session) if their browser or bandwidth is sufficient to run the client
  • Simplify the interface for testing the user’s audio
  • Add checks to a ‘pre-flight’ checklist that checks successful execution of Java for desktop sharing
  • Enable some feedback to user during the session if their bandwidth is insufficient

Click image below to playback the recording.

Session #2: BigBlueButton Product Road Map

Fred Dixon chaired a session on feedback for the BigBlueButton Product Road Map.

The feedback from the community included

  • Enable simultaneous editing of whiteboard
  • Enable the moderator to adjust the sensitivity of a user’s microphone

Click image below to playback recording.

Session #3: Improving the BigBlueButton Architecture

Richard Alam, BigBlueButton’s Chief Architect, chaired a session on evolving and improving the BigBlueButton Architecture.

There was discussion on support for the HTML5 architecture and the consolidation of components in BigBlueButton server. We also discussed the ongoing work to refactor the client and server and investigation on WebRTC.

Click image below to playback recording.


Session #4: Development Process

Fred Dixon chaired a session on evolving and improving the BigBlueButton’s development process.

The feedback from the community included

  • Support for Ubuntu 12.04
  • Offering a long term support version of BigBlueButton
  • Use of IRC for supporting BigBlueButton community (and why we currently don’t use IRC)
  • Better management of branches in github repository

Click image below to playback recording.


Overall it was a great day of collaboration among the BigBlueButton community. We look forward to holding the next BigBlueButton summit in 2013.