Today I read an article in the New York Times, With Enough Bandwidth, Many Join the Band, about the popularity of music lessons via Skype. The photo in the article shows a guy practising the bagpipes in front of a laptop, connected to his teacher (watch a video of a virtual bagpipe lesson).
"Students who used to limit the pool of potential teachers to those within a 20-mile radius from their homes now take lessons from teachers — some with world-class credentials — on other coasts or continents. The list of benefits is long: Players of niche instruments now have more access to teachers. Parents can simply send their child down the hall for lessons rather than driving them. And teachers now have a new way to build their business."
The same applies to all sorts of private tutoring. It seems that Skype and other e-meeting tools are more exploited within informal learning than in the formal system. Whilst many schools and colleges are only just starting with such online tutoring it's flourishing privately. I admit that music lessons on Skype are not as good as face-to-face; the sound quality and synchronisation are never perfect. But compared to no lessons at all they offer enormous opportunities to students and teachers alike.