Friday, July 30, 2010

BigBlueButton at Wikimania 2010

Marc Laporte, the project admin for Tiki Wiki CMS Groupware, talked about the integration of BigBlueButton with TikiWiki during his session at Wikimania 2010.

This is a photo that someone took of the note for the session.

Community support for BigBlueButton

Many large companies will inquire about support for BigBlueButton, but we also try to help the smaller companies with community support in the mailing lists.

Here's a recent post by DonDon Schulz, head of the non-profit Real Life Education, Inc., after successfully solving some asterisk problems in his BigBlueButton setup.
So thank you to everyone that helped me get to this point. I wanted to shout out to the BigBlueButton team ;) !! because they went beyond the call of duty for an open source program.
Glad we could help Don.

Dearborn Schools using BigBlueButton

Chris Kenniburg posts he is looking forward to record and playback in 0.8.

Chris, we might sneak a 0.71 version out before 0.8. But we definitely agree that adding record and playback to BigBlueButton is the #1 requested feature by schools.

Friday, July 23, 2010

eFront Integration

The developers over at eFront have just released a BigBlueButton integration module for eFront. While we haven't used eFront ourselves yet, this seems like a good opportunity to check it out. The integration looks well done and is certainly well documented. You can find it here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

BigBlueButton at Campus Technology 2010

Denis Zgonjanin and I are going to be demonstrating BigBlueButton the next few days at Campus Technology 2010, an educational technology conferencing now being held in Boston, MA from July 19-21st.

The conference is located in the Seaport World Trade Center. You can find us exhibiting in booth #829 (Blindside Networks).

We're staying close by the Renaissance Hotel Boston, so if you are not attending but close by and wanted to meet up, just e-mail me directly and we can arrange a time/location.

Friday, July 16, 2010

BigBlueButton 0.7 is released

The primary goal of BigBlueButton is to enable remote students to have a high-quality learning experience.

After fourteen weeks of development, untold number of cups of coffee, and a lengthy testing period, the BigBlueButton Development Team is proud to announce the release of BigBlueButton 0.7.

The biggest feature in this release is definitely the integrated whiteboard.

See tutorial videos, and see the BigBlueButton project at Google Code to download and setup your own BigBlueButton server.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Desktop Sharing is now LGPL V3

As of BigBlueButton 0.7, the license for the desktop sharing module will be Limited GNU Public License V3.


Monday, July 12, 2010

BigBlueButton Foundation

As many of you know, almost all successful open source projects have an independent foundation overseeing its growth. Good examples are the Sakai Foundation, Eclipse Foundation, and Mozilla Foundation.

In a similar manner, for the BigBlueButton project, we are planning to setup an independent not-for-profit company (a foundation) to accelerate the growth and adoption of the BigBlueButton.

The plans to create a foundation have been in the works for a few months, but given the recent activity in the market, we wanted to let our community know our intent.

While we can’t use the term “Foundation” here in Canada, BigBlueButton Inc. will be a membership based organization that will elect a board of directors, which, in turn, will elect an Executive Director. BigBlueButton Inc. will hold the license for the source code, the trademark for “BigBlueButton”, and represent the members as it carries out its mission, currently drafted as follows:

  1. BigBlueButton Inc. is a vendor-neutral, non-profit company, whose mission is to double the value of remote students’ academic experiences and reduce the cost of institutions responsible for delivering these experiences by 50%.

  2. BigBlueButton Inc. accomplishes its mission by becoming a keystone of a business ecosystem that provides strategic advantages to its members. The goal is to help remote students succeed academically and academic institutions and businesses succeed commercially worldwide.

If you are interested in knowing giving feedback or participating in the foundation, don’t hesitate to contact me at ffdixon at bigbluebutton dot org.

Friday, July 9, 2010

D'Arcy checks out BigBlueButton

D'Arcy Norman gives his impressions of trying out BigBlueButton. Once observation he made:
What is missing in BigBlueButton is ... the ability to record meetings/classes for later playback.
Yes, once we release BigBlueButton 0.7 (with integrated whiteboard), we'll be focusing our efforts to implementing record and playback.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Well Played, Blackboard

In his recent article Well Played, Blackboard, George Siemens suggests that BigBlueButton should work closely with other non-blackboard companies to offer the market choices.

We agree.

Keeping an eye on BigBlueButton

In this blog post about the recent Blackboard acquisition of Wimba and Elluminate, Geoff Cain wrote
I will be watching Blackboard closely on how they work with Elluminate while keeping a weather eye on BigBlueButton (which, coincidentally integrates with Sakai) and other open source options.
We'll be keeping our eye on BigBlueButton too!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Commercial or Open Source?

Blackboard announced today they are acquiring Elluminate and Wimba, two major software vendors it the virtual conferencing space, for $116 million in cash. Michael Chasen, President and Chief Executive of Blackboard, said:
Elluminate's and Wimba's technologies are expected to grow "as institutions look for cost-effective ways to encourage social learning and support learning interactions of all kinds."
The part about "cost-effective" obviously relates to other commercial products. But what does this acquisition mean for open source-based learning solutions?

In a letter to Blackboard's customers, Michael goes on to say:
We will continue current Elluminate and Wimba integration work for open source products, and it is our strategy to sustain those bridges with other commercial LMS providers as well.
Blackboard clearly wants to continue to sell its commercial web conferencing solutions to universities and colleges that are already using open source solutions (such as Moodle and Sakai). Which is fine, every company has to make money.

But what if universities and colleges had an open source web solution that integrated with Moodle and Sakai?

What if they had a really good open source alternative that offered real-time collaboration, virtual classrooms, and enabled any student anywhere in the world to have a high-quality learning experience?

What if that alternative was truly an open source project, not just in name, but in the way it has supported its global community of users and developers over the past two years.

And what if that alternative that was backed by not one company, but by a global community of companies all improving the software for the benefit of everyone?

That’s what we’re working hard to provide with BigBlueButton.

We believe that the real-time learning space will explode in the next two years as networks get faster, access spreads to remote students, and universities and colleges increasingly become global educational intuitions.

We believe that just as other open source projects have provided world-class databases, web browsers, and operating systems, the BigBlueButton open source project can provide a world-class web conferencing system for distance education.

We believe that universities and colleges who are building on open source solutions will also want the choice of a solid, tested, and supported open source solution for real-time distance education.

We want to give them that choice with BigBlueButton.