Open Source software can be a great solution when there is sufficient programming and network support expertise to be able to deal with some of the challenges of beta-level (or even alpha) software. However, the rewards of open source can be significant for those wishing to maintain control, develop a brand image, reduce monthly operating costs, and to even offer hosting / repackaged solutions for a specialized niche market.
For colleges and universities, the webinar format can be a wonderful way to present guest lecturers, and to discuss research design, particularly for sociology, psychology, and earth sciences. For corporations and professional associations, the webinar format can be effective. It is important, however, to plan well and to avoid common pitfalls.
Assemble your own "rough and ready" webinar?
It could be possible to simply broadcast a live event using ustream (http://www.ustream.tv/) while simultaneously using MSN or AIM for chat and discussion capabilities. This could result in a haphazard event, with archives of the chat avaialable in a different place than the archived video. However, it's a "rough and ready" way to do a webinar if you want to stay free, and not have to progress to a for-pay version of gotomeeting, skype, webex, omnovia, elluminate, and other providers of web conferencing and synchronous web training.
OpenSource Webinar Software
(please note that these products have been reviewed, but not installed and tested by e-learning queen).
VMukti is an open-source, cloud-based high definition video conferencing communication suite, which has three main features:
Live Video Streaming and broadcasting
Web Conferencing and Collaboration
Video Voip Telephony
In theory, VMukti offers live video streaming in an affordable, effective manner. Total video product on cost, Quality and Scalability. Server less, Client Less, Low cost, High Definition, Scalable, Failover.
-Easy to use: client runs in web browser (no installation)
-Offers hosting services
OpenMeetings is a free browser-based software that allows you to set up instantly a conference in the Web. You can use your microphone or webcam, share documents on a white board, share your screen or record meetings. It is available as hosted service or you download and install a package on your server with no limitations in usage or users.
BigBlueButton is an open source web conferencing system for distance education. It provides real-time desktop sharing, presentation, VoIP, webcam and chat.
WebConference Plugin for Moodle
Plug in WebConference Internet conferencing into your Moodle Learning Management System. This mod for Moodle 1.9.7+ will enable your moodle installation to add WebConference Activities to courses. Adjust seats, and schedule conference events.
The Ehizo Project --- Communication Suite
data & video-conferencing, one shared whiteboard, send text messages (IM), transfer files(FTP),collaborate in real time,email capablities,Plays and stores dvd,cd and Mp3. Web-based Internet directory,Remote Desktop Share,File sharing program & browser
(modified from website) An Open Source web conferencing company, 1VideoConference is allows its Web, Audio/ Video phone, Skype, Msn and Yahoo users to instantly participate in live web conferences without the need for lengthy downloads or complicated installations. At any time, our host customers can simply drop a small piece of code onto their websites and create an online video conference room.
The beta version of 1videoConference is available at sourceforge.net for download and installation on one's own server. This is an opensource alpha version with known bugs and little aesthetic design.
From the archives of fringejournal.com: "Feed the Bears Anyway"