If you’ve been using Moodle for any amount of time, you’ve seen, heard and probably used BigBlueButtonBN Moodle Plugin. It’s integrated into Moodle Cloud. Even Moodle HQ uses it for developer meetings and the like. The plugin is currently ranked #15 in overall downloads and Michael de Raadt recently published a survey of 353 Moodle sites showing 13 percent of sites responded using the BigBlueButtonBN Moodle plugin.
As announced recently via their blog, the team at BigBlueButton are over the moon excited about (finally) releasing version 1.0. Don’t think these guys have been slacking, however. This is the fifteenth release in its seven years of development. The service has been stable and running in production for more than six months with one company hosting over 100,000 live sessions to-date.
Along with the 1.0 release announcement, BigBlueButton also has included new or upgraded features. These include polling, emoticons and improvements to the video dock.
In 1.0, polling is made easy for the instructor through automation. The BigBlueButton client actually checks the text on the slide you’re showing for poll-friendly questions. This eliminates the need for instructors to type them in.
For example, if the current slide contained:
What is your favorite Color?
BigBlueButton would the presenter a single button for initiating an A/B/C poll to students.
Like Moodle, BigBlueButton is open source and currently localized for 25 languages. Full instructions to setup your own BigBlueButton server are at http://docs.bigbluebutton.org/