This is a reaction to the above article by Brian Mooney writing in the Irish times today, the First of February 2011. In the article he extolled the virtues of MIT opencourseware.
MIT is great, and I love the open course ware initiative, but its only one small shelf in a very big open-source learning bookstore! Have you looked at whats available through ItunesU? This has all of the MIT stuff + Berkley +Harvard, +....hundreds of universities, and Museums and other such. Its a great resource for the learner.
Here is another source of such materials, this came up on the CESI list in response to the Irish times article:
The second interesting trend is the emergence of degree replacements such as "Microsoft Certified", where it doesn't matter where you get the learning, once you sit the exams and pass, you get the piece of paper. In this way we see the learning and the certification being de-coupled with the later being given the imprimatur of an internationally accepted (albeit commercial) standard.
City and Guilds in London used to do something like this, and The university of London also had a very early distance education program with a good reputation. This is a field where we will see more players entering in the near future.