We are piloting the BigBlueButton open source video conferencing platform and my first impression is WOW, it just works! They have a 5 step Ubuntu process for setting up and installing the software on your server or you can download the VMWare which is even easier.
The best part about this is that it will integrate with Moodle thanks to Dualcode.com. The integration is as simple as uploading their Moodle Module and then filling out 3 entries in a form to activate the module with your BigBlueButton server.
BigBlueButton (BBB) Video Conferencing allows for streaming webcams, voice conferencing, desktop sharing, document display and chat. Want to share your latest powerpoint with a teacher or friend? Join a conference and upload it to share. BBB will convert it and make slides that you can cycle through as you voice conference with a friend and hash out any changes that need to be made.
I think the biggest benefit will be when they release the ability to RECORD your meetings. In speaking with their friendly and supportive developers they mentioned that this is something they have been working on for some time and they think it is only a few weeks/months away from being implemented. I could see some teachers using this so that some of the more complex topics they teach could be recorded once and then used for reference material by students if they just don’t quite get it. This could be a very powerful tool for educators. And it is so simple to use!!!!
If you are looking for a solid and easy to setup/use video conferencing system you need to check out BigBlueButton. Easy to install, easy to integrate, and easy to use.
(This may sound like a paid commercial, but I have tried MANY open source conferencing tools and this was by far the best first impression I have had from any of them.)
Dearborn Teachers look out! I am working out some technical details and will be making this available very soon.
You should definitely try out their demo.
I am impressed that this was created completely open source.