I’m a teacher using Jitsi in class. Overall it’s been an amazing experience except for bandwidth limitations in the evening.
I’d like to propose the following two modes of operation for consideration:
- Low FPS mode: For the most part, the students and teachers basically need to know they are connected and that video is working. The picture going out for any reason, especially low bandwidth, causes a kneejerk reaction in everyone. It would be really nice to force all phones to update their picture only once every few seconds, especially in low res, to preserve bandwidth and create a more stable connection. This would allow for more bandwidth for audio and hopefully the ‘mp3 audio artifacts’ would disappear.
An alternative to low-fps mode would be low-res mode. Simply taking the camera picture and reducing it 1/4 to 1/16 to reduce the bandwidth needed to send the image. I’m not sure how difficult this would be to implement cross platform though.
- Focus-Speaker Mode: In combination with the above mode. The speaker can "double tap’ their screen to allow them, and only them, to broadcast at full video speed. A new person can become the speaker by tapping their screen and asking permission to switch.
The reason for #2 is simple, while my students are reading in class, the listeners don’t need to be broadcasting high speed video. Yes, it looks nice, but it burns through bandwidth and “if everyone does it all the time it’ll overload the system.” The thing we really need is high quality audio AND for people who are listening NOT to be broadcasting audio. It’s easy with adults to ask them to mute their microphones, but as a kid’s teacher it’s really difficult to get everyone to cooperate.
Also, if one person as an admin could remotely mute other people’s mics (not turn on for security of course) that would be a real bonus.
Thanks again for considering these ideas.