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Implement a Virtual Classroom or Video Chat

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I was wondering if the Schoology team could implement a virtual classroom for each course, so we could teach real-time classes, use voice communication, share slides, docs, and the like.

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    Mr. Maeda

    This is done through Blackboard Collaborate, right?

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    Ms. McKay

    Several teachers at my school have expressed interest in this possibility, especially for times when they are snowed in (the students board, so we always have classes, but sometimes teachers who live farther away cannot make it in).

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    Phil Abi-Najm

    How about an integration with Big Blue Button?

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    Phil Abi-Najm

    Just an update, apparently BigBlueButton has an LTI integration, so it should be able to integrate with Schoology. We'll be testing this in the coming months.

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    Phil Abi-Najm
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    Phil Abi-Najm

    OK, we just tested this last week and it works pretty seamlessly. One thing to note, however, is that the BigBlueButton developers expressly state that the application was not built for security. There are some available threads on enabling SSL and RTMPS on top of Red5 (which is the underlying media server), but there is limited information on how this is accomplished, and in particular, what type of a performance hit BigBlueButton takes with this type of overhead:

    http://sunil-gupta.blogspot.com/2007/06/secure-your-red5-applications-with.html
    http://openmeetings.apache.org/RTMPSAndHTTPS.html
    http://gregoire.org/2008/05/26/rtmps-in-red5/

    Additionally, if you have a Schoology environment setup with SSL (using HTTPS protocol), and you have not implemented SSL in BigBlueButton, then your web browser will prompt you to accept mixed content when launching the LTI tool integration. Because of the way certain browsers handle displaying mixed content, we were only able to get this to work in Firefox and Internet Explorer. Chrome kept reloading the page every time we accepted to display mixed content (there is no browser setting to "always allow"), and we didn't test yet in Safari, so the results of those are inconclusive at this time.

    As for the experience, it's pretty seamless. When you create a meeting room, the LTI tool automatically sends over the Course Administrator as the Presenter, and any Course Members as Participants. The one caveat (at the time of this writing), is that all Schoology LTI tool integrations are launched inline, which means that the view in the meeting room is set to portrait. It would be helpful if LTI tool integrations could be launched in a separate tab/window so folks had the option of launching full screen into a session.

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