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June 2017
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BRAIN: Developing Distance Learning Environments in the Context of Cross-Border Cooperation

Sebastian Fuicu, Mircea Popa, Dalibor Dobrilovic, Marius Marcu and Razvan Bogdan offer a paper named “Developing Distance Learning Environments in the Context of Cross-Border Cooperation” which consists of a collaboration between Politehnica University of Timisoara, Romania and the Technical Faculty “Mihajlo Pupin” of Zrenjanin, Serbia.

Components of EduWebCast System
Components of EduWebCast System

This paper comes up with a low maintenance cooperation model based on a web cast system that gives both countries the opportunity to access one another’s educational material, which is very helpful for pupils and students. Developing different programs and techniques to achieve the best results of distance learning has become a very important point in today’s educational systems. There are approaches like Learning Management Systems or Personal Learning Environments that that try to build the distance learning ecosystem.

One of the distance learning platforms is called EduWebCast, which has been developed as a cross-border cooperation between the two universities: Politehnica University of Timisoara, Romania and the Technical Faculty “Mihajlo Pupin”, Zrenjanin, Serbia. This platform allows both countries to access each other’s educational material. But, more than that, this is a great way of establishing cooperation and contact between the communities and of ovecoming the borders, as the web cast system can be accessed by people from other countries besides Romania and Serbia, if they are interested.

Increasing educational exchanges through a common cross-border approach in the area of technical education by implementing an education webcast system, creating a cross-border partnership between the two universities and imporving the quality of education for the students and pupils from the border area are some of the objectives of this platform. EduWebCast system is formed of two components: the Core EduWebCast System and the Video Lecture Preparation System. The first one includes the application server, video server, storage and network infrastructure, while the second one includes the software and devices needed to record the lectures.

The system started to be used on the 14th of April, 2015, but it was tested before being released. We observe some statistics that show that the platform is mostly used before the exam sessions: in January, in April, May and June or in July and August.

Video lectures can be created through PowerPoint slides and narration through lab exercises or they can be recorded in the professional studio in the case of using special equipment. In order to do this, the class should have access to a PowerPoint/lab exercise software, to headsets with microphone, to a video/audio screen capturing software, to a graphical table (optional) and to a softare for video/audio editing.

Concluding, this paper analyses the process of creating, developing and using the EduWebCast system in order to increase pupils’ and students’ interest in discovering the courses that are held in another country besides their. Moreover, this system has the aim to pass over the borders and the limitations in the educational systems, as people should be able to access other institutions’ classes so that they can help each oher in being more productive. This is a great step in education and we hope it will soon spread around the world.

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Mihaela Guțu