PLATO (computer System)

PLATO (computer System)

PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations) was the first (ca. 1960, on ILLIAC I) generalized computer assisted instruction system, and, by the late 1970s, comprised several thousand terminals worldwide on nearly a dozen different networked mainframe computers. Originally, PLATO was built by the University of Illinois and functioned for four decades, offering coursework (elementary–university) to UIUC students, local schools, and other universities. Several descendant systems still operate.

The PLATO project was assumed by the Control Data Corporation (CDC), who built the machines with which PLATO operated at the University. CDC President William Norris planned to make PLATO a force in the computer world; the last production PLATO system was shut down in 2006 (coincidentally, just a month after Norris died), yet it established key on-line concepts: forums, message boards, online testing, e-mail, chat rooms, picture languages, instant messaging, remote screen sharing, and multi-player games.

Read more about PLATO (computer System):  Historic Background, Genesis, NSF Involvement, The CDC Years, In South Africa, Online Community, Later Efforts and Other Versions, Cyber1, Innovation

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