An Innovative E-Learning Platform for Vocational Training of European Local Police Forces

An Innovative E-Learning Platform for Vocational Training of European Local Police Forces

Ioannis P. Chochliouros (Hellenic Telecommunications Organization S.A. (OTE), Greece), George Heliotis (Hellenic Telecommunications Organization S.A. (OTE), Greece), Anastasia S. Spiliopoulou (Hellenic Telecommunications Organization S.A. (OTE), Greece) and George Agapiou (Hellenic Telecommunications Organization S.A. (OTE), Greece)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 8
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch172
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Abstract

Over the last years, the astonishing progress of modern telecommunication networks and the simultaneous spread of the Internet have brought about unprecedented access to a wealth of information and resources. The full development of Internet’s potential to improve access to education and training, and to enhance the quality of learning, is a key prerequisite for building a European (and a global) knowledge society. In particular, not only education but also social cohesion and market competitiveness depend more and more on Europe’s ability to adapt (appropriately) its educational and training systems in order to realize this major challenge (Stewart, 2004). Without any doubt, information and communication technologies (ICT) can offer significant potential for the improvement of education and training (Kruse, 2002; Tsai & Machado, 2002) in several areas, as they can strongly support learning processes through enhanced communication, discovery, simulation, exploration, and problem solving (Ewing & Miller, 2002).
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Introduction

Over the last years, the astonishing progress of modern telecommunication networks and the simultaneous spread of the Internet have brought about unprecedented access to a wealth of information and resources. The full development of Internet’s potential to improve access to education and training, and to enhance the quality of learning, is a key prerequisite for building a European (and a global) knowledge society. In particular, not only education but also social cohesion and market competitiveness depend more and more on Europe’s ability to adapt (appropriately) its educational and training systems in order to realize this major challenge (Stewart, 2004).

Without any doubt, information and communication technologies (ICT) can offer significant potential for the improvement of education and training (Kruse, 2002; Tsai & Machado, 2002) in several areas, as they can strongly support learning processes through enhanced communication, discovery, simulation, exploration, and problem solving (Ewing & Miller, 2002).

In this work we discuss several basic features, various issues and specific targets performed by the WebPOL Project, included in Leonardo da Vinci Action Programs and supported by the European Commission (WebPOL, 2004). The Project consists in the creation of a virtual environment of vocational training for European local police forces combining actual training, an Internet-based training centre and an innovative training management system. In particular, it responds to the necessity for covering new training needs of the European Local Polices, such as the use of new technology and information systems, language learning, technological crime, dealing with immigration, environmental crime, domestic violence, fight against international crime and terrorism, European cooperation, and many more.

In fact, the entire effort conforms to current European strategic priorities for continuous vocational training, the acquisition of skills, long-term competences and knowledge accessibility, by increasing the human professional capacity to adapt to new technological and managerial changes, and by developing new methodologies to facilitate the European local polices’ activities (Rosenberg, 2000; European Commission, 2002).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL): Transmission technology that consists of modems attached to twisted-pair copper wiring that transmit from 1.5 Mb/s to 8 Mb/s downstream (to the subscriber) and up to 1.5 Mb/s upstream, depending on line distance.

Knowledge-Based Society (or knowledge society): A society whose processes and practices are based on the production, distribution, and use of knowledge.

E-Learning: The delivery of a learning, training or education program by electronic means. E-learning involves the use of a computer or electronic device in some way to provide training, educational or learning material. E-learning can involve a greater variety of equipment than online training or education, for as the name implies, “online” involves using the Internet or an Intranet. CD-ROM and DVD can be used to provide learning materials.

Personal Digital Assistant (PDA): Handheld computers that were originally designed as personal organizers but have quickly developed into full-functioning portable computers. They are characterized by a touch screen for data entry, a memory card slot, and various types of wireless connectivity for data backup and sharing.

Virtual Community: A group of people whose primary interaction is online but the felt experience of the individuals constituting the group is similar to an actual physical community.

Lifelong Learning: All learning activity undertaken throughout life, with the aim of improving knowledge, skills and competences within a personal, civic, social and/or employment-related perspective.

Internet: A global entity of interconnected data communication networks, platforms and infrastructures, combined with services, facilities and electronic applications.

Broadband Communications/Facilities: Term characterizing both digital and analogue transmission systems. Broadband communications/facilities is generally understood to indicate either a fast data-rate digital system or a wide bandwidth analogue system.

Learning Facilitator: Anyone who facilitates the acquisition of knowledge and competences by establishing a favourable learning environment, including those exercising a teaching, training or guidance function. The facilitator orientates the learner by giving guidelines, feedback and advice throughout the learning process, in addition to assisting the development of knowledge and competences.

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