Partnership with BigBlueButton for Matrix-based virtual classroom

April 23, 2024
Video conferencing

We are excited to announce a ground-breaking collaboration between Element and BigBlueButton, marking a significant step forward in the realm of virtual classroom technology in the education sector. This partnership signifies our joint commitment to revolutionising online communication and collaboration, and we are ecstatic about the possibilities that lie ahead.

Big blue beginnings

BigBlueButton is a software platform to help educators teach effective virtual classes as measured in increased learning outcomes. BigBlueButton goes beyond traditional video conferencing capabilities to offer educators built-in tools for active learning and live analytics to ensure every student learns.

The collaboration began recently when Fred Dixon, co-founder of BigBlueButton Inc., approached Element with a vision to enhance their already impressive platform.

“We see the Matrix community and adoption of Element growing. For example, Moodle 4.4 just shipped with enhanced support for Matrix, and BigBlueButton is also built-in Moodle, so it's clear that many Moodle sites will be looking for synergies between our projects", says Fred Dixon. “The BigBlueButton project holds two developer summits each year, which brings together team members from around the world.  We invited the Element team to join us at the 19th BigBlueButton Developer Summit, city of Balneário Camboriú, Santa Catarina, in southern Brazil (April 22 - 26th).”

Leveraging the technology

One of the key components of our technology is MatrixRTC, our cutting-edge real-time communication solution which leverages the decentralised nature of the Matrix protocol to ensure privacy, security, and interoperability across different platforms and services. With MatrixRTC, we aim to revolutionise the way voice communication is handled within video conferencing applications. In fact MatrixRTC powers Element Call, the most secure open source video conferencing solution on the market. BigBlueButton is keen to leverage the Matrix ecosystem and technology to provide the best virtual classroom experience in Element.

In an exciting development, our very own Timo has embarked on a journey to Brazil to kickstart the collaboration. Armed with his expertise and passion for innovation, and with the backing of our team of technical experts, Timo is already hard at work with BigBlueButton, exploring ways to bring together their functionalities seamlessly with our technologies. Together we’re kickstarting the development of a BigBlueButton widget that would deliver a native integration experience akin to our embedded Element Call feature. This means that users can easily launch into a collaborative BigBlueButton session from within Element, giving advanced whiteboard, shared notes, polling and, in the future, even breakout rooms.

Learning for the future

This collaboration represents more than just a partnership between two companies, it’s a testament to our shared vision of creating a more connected and collaborative world. Together we are breaking boundaries, pushing the limits of what’s possible, and shaping the future of online communication. Both projects are open source and share a similar ethos: we want to develop solutions that are used world-wide and improve the lives of everyone.

As we embark on this journey together, we’re filled with optimism and excitement for the road ahead. We couldn’t be happier to be on this incredible journey with BigBlueButton. Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to redefine the landscape of virtual classroom technology.

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