iMoot 2012 – Day 2

Big Blue Button Welcome screen

[pulledquote]I have used my trusty iMac 24″ for over 4.5 years with no issues whatsoever, until today that is when the heat got the better of it for a few hours. Fortunately all iMoot sessions are recorded and I was able to view some of the presentations that I missed.[/pulledquote]

One of the presentations that caught my eye was about Big Blue Button, an open-source online conferencing system that “enables universities and colleges [and schools] to delivers a high-quality learning experience to remote students”.

Those of you who follow my blog know I used to teach at a school in Thailand that had to close down during a period of political unrest. Although Moodle helped us function as a school during that time, teaching & learning would not have been impacted on as much had we had the ability to interact ‘face-to-face’ with our students (some of us used Skype but it was less than ideal). Big Blue Button would have allowed us to provide students with a quality education during those unsettling times.

It is unlikely that my current school will be closing due to political unrest (I now teach in Hong Kong), but I am still keen to install Big Blue Button as I have a few ideas up my sleeve (more on that in a future blog post). This open-source software clearly has hug potential for training & tutoring.

The Big Blue Button team reckon that you’ll be able to install their software on your server ‘within 30 minutes, or your money back’. Obviously the software is free (the team don’t even accept donations), which is good for them otherwise they would have had to give me my money back. It took me about 90 minutes to install Big Blue Button following the relatively easy, and detailed set of instructions. The only issue I ran into was my fault, as I was trying to run Apache alongside Nginx (silly me!). I now have a working server but have not yet had time to test it – that’ll happen tomorrow so stay tuned.

I’m off to catch some of the iMoot 2012 sessions I missed today, with the air conditioning on to make sure the trusty iMac makes it through the evening. On a side note, Apple please refresh your iMac line up, I need a new one!

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