BigBlueButton provides access to quality education through Open Source

BigBlueButton is an Open Source virtual classroom started in 2007 by OSI sponsor, Blindside Networks. What differentiates BigBlueButton from other web conferencing platforms is that it’s designed for the education market. It focuses on maximizing time for applied learning and feedback, incorporating tools such as a multi-user white board, breakout rooms, shared notes, polling, and emojis.

Nearly all educational institutions use learning management systems that teachers and students access to manage all the components of classes or programs such as assignments, grades, and lesson plans. Integration with learning management systems is important for the success of an online learning platform, and BigBlueButton is built into the core of some of the most popular options like Moodle, Canvas, Schoology, and D2L.

When COVID-19 hit, global adoption of BigBlueButton skyrocketed and Blindside Network hosting grew 60x over the course of six months. Even teachers who were resistant to online learning had no choice but to adjust to virtual classrooms, and it became evident that a platform designed specifically for the needs of teachers and students would deliver a higher quality experience. Being Open Source is essential for many of BigBlueButton’s global users who follow GDPR for data privacy and digital sovereignty. For example, the French Ministry of Education deploys BigBlueButton through the entire school system, serving 500,000 concurrent teachers and students. And over 70 universities in Germany use BigBlueButton. The collaborative benefits of creating BigBlueButton as Open Source has grown the accessibility of the platform to over 55 languages.

“Access to quality education is a global problem, and the only way to solve this problem is through Open Source,” said Fred Dixon, Co-Founder and CEO of Blindside Networks. “It is one of the most important things we can do for the next generation.”

A mantra at Blindside Networks is that the goal in a virtual classroom is not to meet but to learn. BigBlueButton allows teachers to engage students. Analytics are collected and assessed to help teachers gauge participation and identify struggling students. Teachers can adapt lessons in real-time based on feedback the platform gives them. This Open Source platform also opens up educational opportunities to students all over the world who may not have local access to schools.

Blindside Networks believes whole-heartedly in sponsoring OSI, and has done so for many years. It sees OSI as a respected advocate and supporter fostering growth in Open Source communities and projects.

BigBlueButton, with its built-in tools for engagement, can be embedded into other Open Source projects that take its potential value far beyond video conferencing platforms like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or Google Meet. Blindside Networks is there to provide commercial support and hosting if needed. Developers who are curious about it are encouraged to visit bigbluebutton.org or watch a demo at demo.bigbluebutton.org.

151 responses to “BigBlueButton provides access to quality education through Open Source

  1. @osi The college where I work self-hosted this and I was tasked with exporting the recordings to regular video. I contributed a bit to these scripts https://github.com/plugorgau/bbb-render and made my first pull request, rendering the cursor as a red dot.Rendering the vectors as frames took ages. There was one teacher who wrote everything out with a tablet and it took days to render out each video.
    GitHub – plugorgau/bbb-render: Scripts to convert a BigBlueButton recording into a single video file

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