A record number of 180 people registered for this year’s summit, indicating not only an increased interest in Opencast, the open source video management system, but also sending a clear message that an online meeting allows people to participate who usually can’t or wouldn’t. So that’s some good news amidst this pandemic. So too is the feedback from this year’s community meeting which highlighted once again that Opencast was the ideal tool to meet the various requirements institutions faced during the last 12 months. Opencast is flexible, reliable, and scalable: almost all institutions reported being able to quickly multiply the number of recordings, videos, and live streaming events without problems or (licence) costs – except for their extended IT infrastructure of course.
At the same time, people were happy with the network the Opencast community provided during the first months of the pandemic in particular so that meeting new challenges became something of a shared challenge. As a result, the summit saw a record number of talks presenting new features, sharing technical expertise, and discussing ways to move forward.
Finally, the summit confirmed that media services in higher education institutions were, are, and will continue to be confronted with fundamentally new requirements. These include the provision of coherent video management across a variety of systems (Opencast, Zoom, Teams etc.), enabling DIY recording, making live streaming interactively “live”, and dealing with the heterogenous requirements the large number of new customers bring to the table after a year of intense usage of academic video.
The 2021 Opencast summit was held using BigBlueButton, an open source webconferencing service – integrated with Opencast during the pandemic for managing recordings. Summit videos can be found here. As for 2022, we are looking forward to meeting in person again – with options to participate online, of course.
Olaf A. Schulte
Head of Production and Distribution at ETH Zurich and the chair of the Opencast Board