Gteavirtual: Federated Environment for Open Learning

Platforms are fully integrated into the daily practice of university teaching, which also counts on services which offer technical support. These services offer easy e-learning solutions, most of the time using tools from the 90’s technological context: BSCW (1995), ILIAS, WebCT, Blackboard (1997), Moodle (1998), Claroline/Dokeos, LRN (1999). Each of these tools is reinventing the wheel to be able to integrate the highest possible number of functions, from simple gadgets to an impossible ad infinitum (without limit).

Nowadays however, there seems to be consensus in that the capacity of platforms to transform the teaching and learning practice is increasingly low and that, although platforms were very useful in the recent past, the biggest potential change in educational practice currently lies in the interaction among different tools and technologies (as no single platform is able to integrate all the different practices), as well as in the customization of technological solutions, in focusing the attention onthe user rather than on technologies or platforms, and in the idea thatthe Internet is the platform itself rather thanthe other way round (Accino, J.A. & Cebrián, M. 2008).

In other words, education poses the need to focus the teaching practice on individuals (PLE) and their ability to self-regulate their own learning process in collaboration with others (Carneiro, E., Lefrere, P. & Steffens, K., 2007). In this context, it is essential to arrange flexible professional training environments (PLE) and teacher support services, to be able to assimilate a more customized attention model than platforms are currently able to offer.

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