Note: If you’re looking for my best known and most widely referenced article on PLATO, you’ll find it here: PLATO: The Emergence of Online Community.
In June 2010, a 2-day conference devoted to the history of the PLATO system was held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. This is a video of my session about the PLATO online community.
And here’s a very brief video about Don Bitzer, Chalmers Sherwin, and their early development of PLATO.
The plaque shown at the end of this video reads:
In 1961, Donald L. Bitzer, co-inventor of the plasma display panel, and Chalmers W. Sherwin introduced PLATO, the first computer based education system, the first time-shared education system, and the home of the first on-line community. By the early 1970s, PLATO included early forms of electronic mail, newsgroups, and computer games and provided hardware and software innovations for the computer industry. By the late 1980s, PLATO offered instruction on approximately 100 subjects to students around the world.