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  • PLATO', an acronym for Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching Operations was an early Computer-based training system.

First a single user system in 1960, it became multi-user in the mid-sixties. DSchneider believes that PLATO was the first e-learning platform. Principles behind courseware were not too different from modern-day content-based main-stream e-learning.

The only difference is that early PLATO systems did not incorporate the typical CMC components a modern Learning management system has. But already by the mid-70's, PLATO featured on-line talk and messaging. Plato also included some of the first online games and multi-user virtual environments.

PLATO is still alive in various incarnations ! See the Wikipedia PLATO]article for details.


  • Van Meer, Betty (2003). “PLATO: From Computer-Based Education to Corporate Social Responsibility,” Iterations: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Software History 2. 1-22. HTML