Within the framework of distance learning a variety of technological environments have been developed, offering alternative methods of learning, based on a diverse philosophy moving away from traditional teaching and schooling. Learning Management Systems (or e-learning platforms) are essential technological software providing e-learning opportunities.
Open eClass is a complete eClassroom Management System, supported in Greece by the Greek Universities Network (GUnet). It is a learning environment based on open-source software, distributed for free, mainly to tertiary education institutions. Open eClass platform aims at integrating technological tools and making valuable use of the Internet in educational practices.
Open eclass platform has been an essential part throughout the development and implementation of the teaching Undergraduate courses and Postgraduate courses. This platform offers a wide variety of opportunities to the user, depending on his/her role in the system (trainer, trainee, and administrator).
Additionally a great number of distance learning courses supporting by this platform giving access to the trainers and trainees to reach educational material from several open courses, but also to upload their works, to communicate with their group members and the community of the course, to receive messages or announcements, to discuss important issues concerning their studies, to keep notes, calendar, etc. For example in the first page of Open eClass-Univ. of the Aegean (see: https://eclass.aegean.gr/) refers that: The Open eClass - Univ. of the Aegean platform is a complete Course Management System that supports Asynchronous eLearning Services via a simple web browser. Its goal is the incorporation and constructive use of the Internet and web technologies in the teaching and learning process. It supports the electronic management, storage and presentation of teaching materials, independently of the spatial and time limiting factors of conventional teaching and creating the necessary conditions for a dynamic teaching environment.
In the last two years the Cloud is increasingly used in primary and secondary education in several subjects. Teachers argue that the Cloud, and mainly the Open eclass platform, can be used because of its basic characteristics, such as the transcendence of the narrow boundaries set in a school classroom and the limited duration of about 40 minutes a typical lesson has. Furthermore, a wide variety of possibilities are offered to the user, depending on his/her role in the system (trainer, trainee, and administrator).
So, the Open eclass platform has been an essential part throughout the development and implementation of a project or in several other subjects as Geography, etc. (see Figure 1). The smooth process and effective outcome of the project were further abetted by web 2.0 tools integrated in the platform, along with other tools (such as tag cloud, newsfeed and board) as well as by a manageable environment and clearly organized platform tools.
Additionally other platforms (cloud based) as http://dschool.edu.gr/ (Greek National Aggregator for Educational Content), that is the central e-service of the Ministry of Education for unified search and distribution of digital educational contents in schools (primary and secondary), widely used. This platform is open to everyone, students, teachers, parents and anyone interested. The dschool platform composed from photodentro (http://photodentro.edu.gr/) (Learning Objects Repository), the ebooks platform (http://ebooks.edu.gr/) and the Digital Educational Platform «e-me», that is still in pilot phase. It is a digital environment that provides "space" and "tools" to serve and upgrade what already happens in school. It is the personal space of each student and each teacher. A digital meeting and cooperation space. The individual content repository and applications. But a projection area of their work. (http://e-me.edu.gr/).
All the above characterized by a participatory approach to content creation and distribution, along with user interaction and cooperation. All activities carried out in this context do not abide by traditional teaching and the educator’s role acquires different dimensions. The educator assumes an auxiliary consultative role, functions as a students’ supporter, aiding them towards the appropriate application of modern learning networks.