Tried to post this in a discussion online, but the comments widget bombed out. I figured I'd post it here instead, since sadly it's a bit of a ghost town.
Mary Meeker just released her annual internet trends report. As a huge nerd I look forward to this every year. In this year's report she predicts that one of the next areas ripe for disruption is Education. As someone married to a teacher, and a parent. I am excited by this.
What exactly might that disruption look like?
While a completely vague prediction. It will be access to information. The overriding driver of all the major internet driven disruption of the past 30 years has been the democratization of access to information (and resources).
From Google giving everyone the worlds knowledge at the click of a mouse to Amazon EC3 offering every entrepreneur with an idea access to enterprise class infrastructure also at the click of a mouse.
"Good" education. That is access to the best teachers and best techniques was once the domain of the privileged. A networked world, combined with easy distribution and free-er access to information "evens the playing field" so to speak. In theory a kid in rural Africa "could" get the same quality of eduction as a kid in suburban Connecticut.
If that happens an interesting side effect could be disruption to the network value of higher eduction. The most valuable thing about getting a Harvard MBA is knowing all the other people who got a Harvard MBA along with you. With an even playing field, along with a theoretically open communication network in education, that could change. Disruption to education is arguable THE THING that can change the world THE MOST.
Sorry for the ramble.