Corrections made on June 6th.
The May 24th release includes four key features:
- Breakout Rooms. When a conference has multiple attendees, the moderator can break the group into smaller venues and even set time limits before it regroups. See video above.
- Closed Captioning. Stenographers can add live captioning to a session, with multiple languages available simultaneously.
- Faster, Multi-Platform Screen Sharing.
- GreenLight integration. Users from within a Moodle Site can chat live with people outside of it using the GreenLight room creator. Read our summary of GreenLight here.
These updates add to the already lengthy list of features BigBlueButton offers for users, both in and out of Moodle.
This release coincides with the update announcement of the most widely used web-conferencing software, Microsoft Skype. The bulk of the novelties are based in using artificial intelligence to increase functionality for sharing and GIF making. Skype has met some controversies regarding privacy ever since the 2013 report of “backdoors” the US National Security Agency exploited for surveillance. These issues would come to prominence once again in 2017 as the publication of these backdoors —not exclusive for Skype— seem to have allowed the global WannaCry ransomware attacks.
The BigBlueButtonBN plugin has also been updated and supports Moodle 1.9 to 3.3. The RecordingsBN plugin is expected to support Moodle 3.3 soon. See, download, and install the plugins here.
Corrections made on June 6th. An earlier version of this story claimed BigBlueButton offered “encrypted communication without indermediaries,” which is not necessarily the case. Read about BigBlueButton and its layers on security in the official BigBlueButton FAQ.