The future of mobile learning is truly fascinating to contemplate. Move beyond the simple ability to be physically mobile with a laptop or iPad type device and consider the ramifications of universal course availability. The first question that comes to mind is, what is to stop someone from undertaking an online degree from Berkeley for example, while living and studying in Japan or Australia? At present it seems that schools are reluctant to offer that option. In part that may be because they would risk the classification of these students as foreign, which in turn could impact upon the big money educators can charge foreign students for learning.
Imagine a world where the competition for student bums on seats is sufficient to drive colleges and universities to explore offering online courses internationally. The possibilities are huge and some of the implications are quite obvious. It would mean that American college and university students would be in competition for placement with the global student body. It would also mean that the current obstacles to education of wealth, geographic location and social status may disappear forever. It’s a hard one. However it pans out there will be a decided choice to be made, either in favor of American entitlement or in favor of a more philosophical approach to universal education for all.
Remove post secondary education and consider primary education in isolation and the lines are less blurred. International standards and protocols dictate that every child has a right to learn. Computer technology and online learning may see that dream realized in practice and not just in theory.
Open source online philosophy is also bound to crossover into the real world. That will mean that rather than working upon fundamental principles of exclusion, exclusivity and proprietary markets, education will become more readily available to more people across geographical and social boundaries. Or at least we can hope.