Following on from a previous article on 21st century learning I feel we're moving to an area where learning on demand will be as normal as Video on demand (VOD).
I see the emergence of 24-7 tutorials and motuto as early attempts at this. I can't vouch for the quality and economic viability yet but I do see that the learning market is biased towards young people. All infrastructure and policy focuses on this demographic.
New technologies make it targetting the wider market financially viable. There is also a serious lack of supply compared to demand. Yet education budgets around the world are dwindling putting pressure on jobs.
This recipe implies to me that cloud based LOD services could meet this extra demand while at the same time saving the teachers under threat of redundancy. These teachers could either join the LOD services directly, or their schools and institutions could partner with the service to bring in additional paid work to meet the staff resources they have.
This scenario means teachers keep their jobs. Schools get to expand without increasing fixed running costs like building new classrooms and education grows as a sector to meet the growing demand.
It's a nice dream anyway. It's probably a few years early now but, from what I'm hearing across the web, there's a lot of work going into initiatives like this and there's a huge demand. Particularly internationally. So long term I think it will be a success. Just how it will evolve is yet to be determined.