"Higher Education's Online Revolution" in May 31st Wall Street Journal details the possibility of allowing millions of students to obtain a world class education from top professors via online education. Authors John Chubb and Terry Moe say that the obstacles - underwriting or monetizing the process, reaching and meeting students' needs are doable.
This challenge can be met. Over the long term, online technology promises historic improvements in the quality of and access to higher education. The fact is, students do not need to be on campus at Harvard or MIT to experience some of the key benefits of an elite education. Moreover, colleges and universities, whatever their status, do not need to put a professor in every classroom. One Nobel laureate can literally teach a million students, and for a very reasonable tuition price. Online education will lead to the substitution of technology (which is cheap) for labor (which is expensive)—as has happened in every other industry—making schools much more productive.