CommunityBridge is hosting BigBlueButton video chat servers. BigBlueButton has most of the features of Zoom, plus some outstanding things like a shared whiteboard and shared notes. Hosts can START the Conference. Visitors will have access to a conference when you send them an email, with a link to your chatroom.
A few reasons why we prefer BigBlueButton over other platforms:
1. Integrated Whiteboard allows multiple people to draw and write
2. Shared Live Notes/Etherpad for interactive live group editing
3. Public Chat messages posted before you entered are available upon entry unless an admin has cleared the pad
4. Shared Live Notes/Etherpad and Public Chat messages will persist if you reload the browser.
5. Using the 3 dots on the top right to EXIT the room, the Shared Notes/Etherpad and Public Chat messages will persist for others in the room when you choose “logout” and the room will be cleared if you choose “End meeting”
6. BBB allows you to be in multiple rooms while using multiple tabs or windows.
7. Breakout Rooms are easier to manage and assign people to rooms by dragging names.
8. Multiple options for Status: ‘Away’, ‘Hand Raised’, ‘Confused’, ‘Happy’, .etc
9. Easily share the Presenter and Moderator roles with multiple people using an access code.
10. Nothing to download or install, works on your phone or in a browser – no APP is needed.
11. Preview your webcam before going live (fix your hair etc.)
12. Set notifications to alert you when someone enters the room.
13. Change the overall font size and choose the language for the interface.
14. Easily scroll back through messages in Public Chat tab.
15. Public text chat, Shared Notes, Presentations and Whiteboard are available all in one window.
16. Integrated Live Polls with Interactive Polling options for voting.
17. Download Shared Notes and the Public Chat or export in multiple formats, including HTML.
18. Bandwidth optimization settings to turn off all cameras.
19. File Sharing and Desktop sharing options are available.
20. FREEDOM – BigBlueButton is Free and Open Source software.
Here are some short videos that give a really good overview of how to use the tools available in BigBlueButton. Or you can book an appointment for a short tour of the administrative features of BigBlueButton!
- As a moderator, how do I use closed captions?
- As a moderator, how do I start and stop recording?
- As a moderator, how do I give/take presenter role?
- As a moderator, how do I manage viewers?
- As a moderator, how do I lock viewer’s ability to use their mic/webcam/chat/shared notes?
- As a moderator, how do I promote/demote/remove a viewer?
- As a moderator, how do I clear the public chat?
- As a moderator, how do I create and manage breakout rooms?
- As a moderator, how do I end meeting on logout?
- As a presenter, how do I use the presentation controls?
- As a presenter, how do I upload a presentation and enable for download?
- As a presenter, how do I share an external video link?
- As a presenter, how do I share my screen?
- As a presenter, how do I use polling?
- As a viewer, how do I view closed captions?
- As a viewer, how do I move webcam(s) in a live session?
- As a viewer, how do I join the audio?
- As a viewer, how do I share a webcam?
- As a viewer, how do I send public and private chat messages?
- As a viewer, how do I set a status?
- As a viewer, how do I use shared notes?
- As a viewer, how do I join the multi-user whiteboard?
- As a viewer, how do I join breakout rooms?
- As a viewer, how do I respond to polls?
- As a viewer, how do I close the presentation/enlarge the webcams?
- As a viewer, how do I access the Options Menu?
More BigBlueButton Tips:
Setting your microphone and camera – connecting and reconnecting —
You can get to the settings for your microphone and camera in your browser as shown in this image:
To encourage engagement in BigBlueButton, you can let attendees know that they can set their own status and raise their hand by clicking on their own name in the list of participants on the left and selecting “Set Status”.
The moderator can see in the list of people, participants that have set their own status to happy or confused or if they have a hand raised etc.
A moderator can click on their own name in the list on the left and see “Options” to ‘reset’ or clear statuses and then ask people to raise their hand to interact with you on the next topic.
Moderators can also click on the three dots on the top right side of the screen and choose ‘Settings’ for more room options. When there is no presentation open, everyone should be able to see all webcams on the screen. When the presentation is open, the webcams appear at the top of the chat window and you can resize them or move them by dragging them to the position you prefer.
Everyone should be able to resize the presentation or a webcam independently by dragging it larger or smaller.
Recording a Conference:
When you start a Conference, you can start recording and it will continue until everyone leaves the room, or until you pause it. There is no Stop button, just pause. Recording will pause when you leave the room. The recordings will be saved and will appear in a list of Presentations on the entry page of the chatroom. The text in the Public chat will be displayed as part of the recorded presentation, the shared notes will not. It is best to have uploaded a presentation as part of your session if you record. A presentation can be a slide deck or an image or a .PDF file. If you do not upload a presentation, there will be a blank area in the recording. Do a few tests to see how a recording looks before your event. Note that when viewing a recording you can change and adjust the layout too!
Ending a Conference:
If you are the Administrator, and you exit the room by clicking on “Leave Room”, the recording will be paused and the notes and public chat will remain for a short time and will be available if you re-enter the room within a few minutes. You can click on “End Conference” to end the meeting for everyone. At this time the recording will be processed and posted. The processing time is relative to the length of the meeting and longer meetings will take longer for processing the video.
Get Involved with the development of BigBlueButton