Jetpacks, hover boards, and even the possibility of walking on water are all things I think about when looking toward the future. Perhaps in a more practical sense it should look more like touchscreens on counter tops, windshields, and in the shower. Whatever is efficient today or has been made to be more convenient for us, the future will find a way to make it faster, better, and far more accessible. Enter the world of online education 20 or even 50 years from now.
It is possible that University of Phoenix may have a top 10 football team and its some half a million student body is cheering them on from the likes of Tokyo, Vancouver, and Brussels. Schools like DeVry, Walden, and Capella may have not only credible programs in math and science but because of their convenience and growth, they have ousted Oxford, MIT and NYU as the best schools in those fields.
Websites are a thing of the past and microchips have replaced them for everything. Just peel back your ear lobe and insert the chip (lighter than a paperclip) and install any program into your mind for a fraction of a second. This of course, includes any classroom discussion, tutorials, thesis papers, testing, and anything else associated with the futuristic pursuit of an online degree.
50 years from now, students may not be going anywhere for class. Whether it is a piece of code engineered for the mind, or just a simple touchscreen from their bedroom wall, students of all ages wanting a degree will have a much more convenient experience. And who knows, maybe there will still be some folks from the old school that still desire taking their jetpacks to class.