This document covers what's new in the Spring 2023 release.
What's new in BigBlueButton 2.6:
- New whiteboard
- Downloading presentation with whiteboard annotations included
- Exporting shared notes to the whiteboard
- Exporting breakout rooms’ shared notes to the main room
- Exporting breakout rooms’ whiteboard annotations to the main room
- Pin shared notes to the whiteboard
- Easier setup of polling
- Easier moving of users between breakout rooms
- Propagate layout to all participants
- Improved layout manager selection
- Upload a presentation directly from NextCloud
- Enable/Disable dark mode
- Pinning webcams
- Upload custom webcam background
- Set webcam image brightness
- Modify screen layout
- Automatic closed captions for speaker
The whiteboard has been replaced with new, modern whiteboard that supports all the capabilities you would expect, including
Here's an overview video of the new whiteboard capabilities.
For a list of shortcuts click on the three dots in the top right corner select Keyboard shortcuts, then select the Whiteboard option on the left-hand side.
There are two toolbars on the whiteboard. A Styles toolbar and a Tools toolbar.
Selection - select annotations
Pen - freehand line drawing
Eraser - swipe across objects to erase them
Select a shape to use rectangle, ellipse, triangle or line - drop and drag to size
Arrow - draw an arrow
Text - type text
Sticky Notes - place a sticky note to type on
Delete the selected annotation
Downloading presentation with whiteboard annotations included
Teachers can now export their slide decks with the annotations included during a lesson. Selecting “Send to chat” in the presentation upload modal sends a link to the public chat from which meeting participants can use to download the file.
Exporting shared notes to the whiteboard
Instructors can move the shared notes to the whiteboard presentation area for further collaborative work among students. To do this select the three dots in the top right corner of the Shared Notes window and select Convert notes to presentation. The Shared Notes will then be converted and displayed in the presentation area.
The Shared Notes will then be available as a presentation.
Which can then be marked up on the whiteboard.
Exporting breakout rooms’ shared notes to the main room
To capture a breakout room's shared notes, select the option “Capture shared notes when breakout rooms end” while setting up the breakout rooms.
When the breakout rooms end the shared notes will be converted to a pdf and be available as a presentation from the action menu.
Exporting breakout rooms’ whiteboard annotations to the main room
To capture the breakout rooms' shared notes, select the option “Capture whiteboard when breakout rooms end” while setting up the breakout rooms.
When the breakout rooms end the whiteboard will be converted to a pdf and be available as a presentation from the action menu.
Pin shared notes to the whiteboard
Instructors can pin the shared notes to the whiteboard presentation area for further collaborative work among students. To do this select the three dots in the top right corner of the Shared Notes window and select Pin notes onto whiteboard.
To unpin the shared notes, press the X button on the top right-hand side of the whiteboard area.
Easier setup of polling
Polling has been updated to allow for polls to be prepared in advance using the custom input option.
Easier moving of users between breakout rooms
There is a new option for the breakout room controls called Manage users.
This dialog lets you drag and drop users between different breakout rooms.
When you click the Apply button, BigBlueButton will send prompts to each user to move them to the target breakout room.
Propagate layout to all participants
Moderators can propagate their layout to all participants. To do this select the actions menu by pressing the (+) button and then select Propagate layout
Improved layout manager selection
To change the layout of the screen, select the actions menu by pressing the (+) button and then select Layout Settings Modal.
You will be presented with 4 options, Custom, Smart layout, Focus on presentation, and Focus on video.
The custom layout will allow you to drag the webcams to the top, bottom, and either side of the screen.
The smart layout will select will display the webcams at the top of the screen with the presentation area being directly below them.
Focus on presentation will use the entire main screen for presentations and display webcams at the bottom of the Public Chat window.
Focus on video will use the entire main screen for webcams and display the presentation at the bottom of the Public Chat window.
Upload a presentation directly from NextCloud
Two newly created parameters: presentationUploadExternalDescription and presentationUploadExternalUrl have been introduced.
When both of these parameters have been populated a message in the presentation upload modal will appear.
Improved echo test dialog
The echo test dialog has been updated, adding an audio stream volume indicator.
Improved notification of recording start
The recording indicator has been made bigger.
Enable/Disable dark mode
To enable/disable dark mode click on the 3 vertical dots  in the upper right-hand corner and select Settings.
Under the Application panel , you will find the Dark mode setting .
Use the slider next to Dark mode to toggle between on/off.
Click the Save button  to apply the setting.
You can pin one or more webcam(s), so they always stay visible. This is useful if one of the webcams is showing sign language, for example, and you always want it to be visible.
Upload custom webcam background
You can upload a custom background image from the Webcam settings page. Click on the camera icon, then the plus button.
You will then be able to select a background image to upload from your computer. The selected image will show up in the first position on the left in the list of available backgrounds to use.
To delete a custom background, click the X in the upper right-hand corner of the image and it will be removed from your background selections.
Set webcam image brightness
You can adjust the brightness of your image or the entire image as a whole using the Brightness slider bar at the bottom of the Webcam settings window.
If the Whole image radio button is selected it will adjust the brightness of the whole image, if it isn’t selected only your image will be adjusted.
Modify screen layout
You can customize the webcam location by clicking and dragging to a new position (top, bottom, left, right or to the bottom of the shared notes).
Live Automatic Closed Captions
Note: This feature uses built-in Google APIs to enable live speech-to-text for a user. This feature is disabled by default. When BigBlueButton 2.6 release, to have this feature enabled for your account, contact Blindside Networks support.
BigBlueButton now supports per-user captioning. That is, when a user joins the audio, they can chooses which language they are speaking and, using Google's speech-to-text ability, BigBlueButton will make live transcription of their speech available to others. These captions will also appear in the recordings.
To have your voice transcribed, select the desired language from the drop-down selector from the join audio dialog.
When a user selects a language for automatic transcription, a CC icon will display next to their name in the “who is talking” indicator.
When one or more users have enabled transcription, a CC button will appear. To view the transcriptions for those with ‘CC’ in their “who is talking” icon, press the CC button. You don’t need to have selected transcription of your audio to view the transcriptions for others.
The placement of the ‘CC’ button depends on your device. For mobile devices, the ‘CC’ button is in the three dots at the top right corner.
For desktop, the ‘CC’ button is in the bottom left.
Desktop users can also select the language that the captioning will display in by pressing the up arrow on the CC button.
Note: The automatic transcription is only available for browsers that support SpeechRecognition (Google Chrome, MS Edge, and Safari). If you join with non-supported browsers, you will see a warning at the bottom of the join audio dialog.