If you are old enough to remember higher educations attempt at synchronous teaching models via expensive teleconferencing systems, I am sure you are thinking the old adage, “What goes around comes around. ” That being said, the synchronous component of DE is going to experience a re-birth via new technologies and web business models that are evolving thanks to Web2.0. Applications like Google Talk, Gizmo, Skype, collaborative tools such as Writely, along with opensource initiaives such as the SAKAI Project . We are going to witness ever increasing ways in which to engage students and rethink instructional pedagogy. These tools are but the beginning of a new set of tools as we emerge from the nuclear winter of the dot com bust. The Law of Acceleration will not give us involved with technology and teaching much time to discover, understand, prototype, implement, scale and then support an every expanding portfolio of technological opportunites.
The key will be the need to focus and find the right change model that can be sustained by an evolving business model.