BBB is only 2 years old and is an open source synchronous education tool. In response to the acquisition, the official BigBlueButton blog says,
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. [link]
Unlike Elluminate and Wimba, BigBlueButton will require some technical expertise to set up a server to run the software. You can however check it out at their demo site [http://demo.bigbluebutton.org/].
From a cursory review I can say that the software opened seamlessly, without any trouble on my laptop (which is running Linux Ubuntu and Chrome browser). It’s very slick and could certainly mean a new page for synchronous, open source educational tools that integrate into Moodle.
Did I mention that there’s already a Moodle plugin? [http://moodle.org/mod/data/view.php?d=13&rid=3524]
Will you make the switch?