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Legal Issues

Education is a hyper-regulated industry. Because it is so central to national culture, every nation has enacted rules governing not only who can provide education at varying levels, but also in most cases how that education will be provided, who is qualified to teach and who is eligible to learn and be subsidized, where education will take place, and what outcomes are expected. For generations the notion of “sovereignty of place” has made perfect sense: Education was defined by students arrayed in front of an instructor, gathered together within the confines of a classroom.

Distributed learning has altered not only the manner in which learning takes place, but also the fundamental concept of how it should—and can—be regulated. When the teacher is in one location and ...

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