Prefectural University of Hiroshima had to shift to online classes at the beginning of the pandemic. They were evaluating various real-time video conferencing solutions for this purpose. The students stayed on campus and had poor Internet connectivity. The paper is a comparison of using Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Big Blue Button for this purpose.
Though the three solutions do not significantly differ in terms of features, BBB can work with a smaller bandwidth consumption. It is advised to not move the pointer on the slides since that would turn a mostly static image into an expensive video stream.
The findings are not surprising since BBB is a custom software built for this specific purpose, whereas Zoom and MS Teams are general purpose software for video conferencing and messaging. Teachers should be trained to use BBB effectively for its intended purpose.
Since nearly half of all carbon emissions in video conferencing happen on the network, self-hosting a video conferencing server like BBB as close to the users as possible can a have significant reduction in emissions.
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