To learn online or not to learn online, that seems to be the question.
The debate should not be about whether eLearning and emerging web technologies can be used to replace face-to-face teaching. eLearning is a reality today and will only become more mainstream and accepted as time passes. It is likely that there will be a complete blurring in the near future, where there is learning delivered in several ways.
Today’s younger people are comfortable in an online-social environment, and don’t necessarily have preconceived notions of what ‘works best’. The importance placed on physical presence/interaction in learning environments will only diminish over time, creating a market for solid, useful and enjoyable online learning content that may or may not be supplemented with face-to-face meetings.
Further, many of those driving this debate may not fully understand the digital generation (regardless of how much research is conducted), and indicates how important it is to somehow engage, observe and seek feedback from young Internet users. Ideally, they would be part of the process, not just on the periphery.