Could it be that powerful, everyday ‘e-learning’ has crept up on the world, separate from all the academic and institutional noise, and in a consumerist fashion?
All of these brands enable informal learning, grassroots knowledge management or collaboration on a local or global scale.
Yes. And the digital world isn't the first step. For modern education, think about a century and a half of nonfiction media, from Webster's American English dictionary through cable tv. Further back, the long heritage of oral tradition, from common sense to how-to tips. Learning has paralleled education forever; like with many things, the internet just makes that more visible.
Again, the net defamiliarizes.