When medical education meets technology and, thanks to the Internet, the new "virtual classrooms" may contain a number of students far broader than the common ones, the importance of Internet in education became especially important. Encouraging the spread of online lessons the Minister for Education, Universities, and Research (MIUR) has announced the competition "TalentItaly. The challenge of open education", which identified the e-learning platform (distance learning) more effective. The cardiology course "Heart disease symptoms", through the platform "E-schoolapius" promoted by a group of students and professors of Sant'Anna School, University of Pisa, and Gabriele Monasterio Foundation was awarded the first prize in the MIUR competition.
The "E-schoolapius" e-learning platform is the base for all models in the so-called "Massive open online courses" ("Mooc") application, an increasingly popular tool in the world, and now also in Italy, to enhance students’ learning experience out of the university classrooms.
The online lessons "Heart disease symptoms" are intended to teach, mostly medical students, how to handle correctly the most common symptoms of heart disease such as dyspnea (difficulty breathing), chest pain, syncope and palpitations. These online lessons, with striking graphics, impressed the jury of experts selected by the Ministry of Education for "the excellent standard and highly effective teaching" of the contents and for the "interactive and engaging teaching" that "enables students to get the most of both theory and practice".