Personal Learning Environments are getting closer. Attwell, in the Wales Wide Web, reviews a “Personal Learning Environment” project, which is part of JISCs eLearning project.
Essentially, rather than a VLE which ties the learners to a very standardised setup, a PLE would put more of the software required on the learners’ PCs, so that they can access the Institution’s material, in a way that suits them best. I can see a lot of potential in this sort of setup. (And, it will put more pressure on Institutions to ensure that the material is truly interoperable.)