These are examples of technologies (available to most UK schools colleges & universities) which allow the sharing of learning resources and increase ease of access to content (USO)
I doubt we are taking full advantage of these technologies yet, but they are on a path where teachers don’t have to create as many resources/activities from scratch, can quickly add them to local VLE’s, and when content management is integrated (resource QA workflow: versions, commenting, moderation etc. ) can lead to higher quality resources which harness the collective intelligence of the community & scales of economy.
If, in future we (governments) are going to spend less on education & charge higher education students more, this might be a good reason to exploit computing (machine learning), by developing services such as above that give suggestions & more intelligent feedback. If Amazon.com can suggest other books we might like to read, surely we should start developing systems that feedback useful suggestions & hints to students & their teachers. IBM have developed Watson that can win a TV knowlege quiz show, by responding in real time to (natuaral language) spoken questions. IBM & other companies are looking to exploit this avenue of computing, but not it seems to support the learning of young people & our future human resource…
We have seen how with collective intelligence (user generated content) contributes to build very useful services such as Wikipedia, Amazon book-reviews, Google maps data layers… It was also intelligent to standardize railway track gauge. This allowed trains to travel all over a country which allowed for social and industrial development. Similarly standardizing on 240 volts for the consumers’ mains electricity has allowed for example one type of kettle to work in millions of peoples houses. With ever increasing global competition & governments wanting to spend less on education, can we afford not to make use of the Unique-Learner-Number? It will be much more expensive developing intelligent learning services with out a unique student identifier like the UK’s Unique-Learner-Number.