Computers and Education

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Computers have long been used in education and today their use is having an ever greater impact on society thanks to the increasing educational success of the Internet and easier access to it. This broad field, which may include any kind of learning process aided by Information and Communication Technologies, is usually referred to as e-learning. E-learning is commonly recognized as a powerful and valuable extension to traditional educational initiatives and Learning Management Systems (LMS) are key tools that support these new educational models. For this reason a significant amount of research and development on both technological and educational issues in e-learning has been taking place with striking results. The field is beginning to come of age and is making important advances in the development, reusability and interoperability of educational content fostered by maturing standards and specifications (e. g. IMS, ADL/SCORM). Nevertheless, even if we take these advances into account, more research and application work is needed in order to produce more cases of success and to generalize e-learning in industry, universities and schools. Certain problems have been identified such as those regarding costs, the knowledge needed to effectively apply this approach, or the fact that in many cases traditional LMS sometimes lack the required flexibility and adaptability to implement innovative educational models that need to be addressed.

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