Wednesday, December 26

dimdim - World’s FREE Virtual Classroom (Open Source)!

Latest News: Dimdim has been acquired by Salesforce.com (Sad story!!!)
(This post is still here, because of the ideas shared beyond DimDim)

Another Option?
Explore WiZiQ :)


WHAT?

"dimdim is the world´s first free web meeting service based on the open source platform. dimdim is a browser-based web 2.0 service that allows anybody to share their desktop, show slides, as well as talk, listen, chat, and broadcast via webcam. dimdim´s hosted service is available for free and can be easily used for small gatherings, to seminars with hundreds of attendees. With absolutely no software to download for attendees, dimdim gives everyone the opportunity to hold Web meetings and to customize and brand these meetings."

JUICE?
"'Powerful simplicity’ is dimdim’s mantra. dimdim differs from first generation web meeting solutions, as they were exceedingly expensive, notoriously difficult to implement and impossible to customize. dimdim provides a business-class quality web meeting service that is free to consumers and extremely easy to use, as there is no software to download or maintain."
Features include (Source):
  • Upload & Share Presentations
  • Desktop & Application Sharing
  • WhiteBoard
  • Multi User Chat
  • Audio and Video
  • On Wire Security
  • Scheduling & Reports
  • Mood Indicator
  • Private labelling
  • Localization
  • Email based support
  • Platform Certification
  • dimdim training
  • Integration with LMS
  • Integration with customer relationship management systems

New features under development include annotations on collaboration work space, active directory integration, Outlook & Google calendar integration, skins / templates, recording & archiving, polls and question manager, etc.

If you want to install dimdim on your own servers, you can download and install the open source edition. Though, keep in mind that "the dimdim open source edition is meant for Developers, Highly Technical Enthusiasts and for usage in Non-Critical Environments. It has all the features of the Enterprise edition and the only difference is that it is more of bleeding edge software. The Enterprise Edition is a much more stable, scalable and reliable piece of software which is fully supported and certified by dimdim, the company. The Open source community supports the Open Source edition." Click here to explore the different editions offered by dimdim, including the hosted Enterprise Edition, which is not free (but reasonable! Though, I don't like the current rule of only allowing a maximum of 20 participants per room).

In terms of features, interface design, and ease-of-use it is perhaps not as attractive as WiZiQ. On the positive note, you can download the open source edition (value-added!) and install it on your own server. Better yet, you can also integrate dimdim with Moodle (Integration Guide.pdf and dimdim-Moodle User Guide.pdf), and that is an exciting prospect with so many Moodle installations and users around the world. I suppose many Moodlers are already exploring dimdim as their free virtual classroom alternative.

Thanks Patricia Donaghy for sharing with me this juicy FREE virtual classroom tool. Yeah, if you don't like WiZiQ or dimdim, you can always explore Elluminate, which is not really free (free for 3 concurrent users only), but is a user-friendly feature rich cost effective virtual classroom tool.

I suppose Virtual Classroom tools will soon be as free as e-mails, social networking, social bookmarking, file sharing, chatting, wikis, blogging, Skype(ing), LMS, uploading videos, and so on. What's next on the free learning tools menu? Got any predictions? :)

3 comments:

UniC Solution said...

I have never found a tutorial on how to install dimdim from source. Do you happen to know how? or have any documentation to show me?

brunoscunha said...

Same here. Want to intall dimdim Open Source Edition and can't find a document about how to do it

Brian Parker said...

Dimdim is an acceptable free solution. However, we use RHUB's TurboMeeting which is a low cost and web conferencing and remote support appliance that is extremely solid. RHUB adds multi-point video and polling to the DimDim feature list.