What Is A Big Blue Button?

Big Blue Button, also known as BBB for short, is a free platform for voice and video conferences.

Since the corona pandemic, the software has been used in schools for digital teaching.

If someone wants to start a Big Blue Button lecture or conference, they can do so for free and invite other participants with a link.

Teachers can also use a digital whiteboard or share their PowerPoint presentations on the screen.

Conferences and lessons can be recorded and saved.

The creator of a conference can also protect it against unauthorized external access with an access code. In the past, the service has been integrated into more and more websites and online portals of schools and universities to simplify access.

How Is Big Blue Button Used?

If you have received an invitation link from someone, you must first follow it.

If the creator has set up an access code, you will be prompted to enter it.

You now have to give yourself a name for this conference, and you are already participating. In the beginning, the system will ask you whether you want to participate with or without a webcam and whether you want to turn on the microphone.

As a rule, it is better for all participants if everyone leaves the microphone switched off at first; otherwise, disturbing background noise can occur.

Is Big Blue Button A Secure Service?

The system is open source, meaning the code is visible, and anyone can use it. However, BigBlueButton hosting always takes place on the school, university, or company server.

To do this, the software must first be installed on a suitable server.

However, hosting on the school’s server also means that the data is only stored there and does not end up with any third-party institution.

What Features Does Big Blue Button Offer?

On the one hand, the program offers the already mentioned whiteboard function. The conference’s leader can write or draw on this whiteboard, but he can also authorize it for individual or all participants.

It is also possible to carry out voting. The participants can also communicate without a microphone via an integrated chat. It is also possible to set a status. With this status, participants can signal whether they agree with something or whether something worked correctly or not correctly.

An essential and ingenious feature is the so-called breakout rooms. These rooms offer the opportunity to carry out group work. In the example of a school class, the teacher could activate the rooms and distribute the students to them. The students can pursue their group projects while the teacher can jump between rooms.

Depending on the set time, the breakout rooms will be resolved, and everyone will come together again in the leading conference and can discuss their results.

These features make online lessons a lot easier and come closer and closer to lessons at school.

In the last two years, Big Blue Button has developed into an essential mainstay for schools and universities and has made learning easier for many pupils or even made it possible in the first place.

This is a secure program since, generally, little personal data is collected and does not leave the institution’s server operating.

The various features ensure the best possible teaching experience and enable teaching from home.

The only downside is the sometimes non-existent access to high-speed internet or devices that meet the system requirements.

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