Page One, the documentary about the writing and editorial staff of the New York Times, is streaming on Netflix, and I recommend watching it if you want a glimpse into the future (or present) of education.
Once again, the story is about abundance, as Clay Shirky reminds us early in the film. With so much free journalistic content available online, and the collapse of advertising revenue, newspaper across the country have been biting the dust. The model is no longer sustainable due to threats from outside the traditional institutions.
However, as the highly watchable David Carr keeps reminding us in Page One, that doesn't mean that the traditional institution doesn't have irreducible value. Actual reporting, boots on the ground, critical questions, authentic sources, journalistic standards and discretion....there aren't many (or any) online magazines or do-it-yourself bloggers who can match the New York Times' authority and integrity.
If traditional journalism still means anything, then the Times will find a way to survive. People will realize they want more than amateurism.
This is, I think, a perfect analogy for the world of education. Just because you can make a cheaper model and challenge the role of the traditional institution, doesn't mean you'll make a better model. Educators need to remember what they can do that new competitors can't, and then do it well.