More than ten years ago I had a dream about an intelligent WWW search engine/agent for learning. I called it SAGE for Search AGEnt. Others have now taken that name. I didn't have the vision or resources to see it through.
My idea was that you ask a question and get a reply with a number of questions narrowing the scope of what you wanted to learn and finding out how much you already knew (like a pretest). The agent would then go out to the World Wide Web to find the information. It would not just present you with the results, it would build a sequence (call it instruction if you must) which would lead you through the information like a highly skilled instructor. Such a tool would have to be based not only on search technology but context tools, learning theory and principles and artificial intelligence.
Today, it can be argued that Google is the biggest eLearning tool of all. Most of us use Google several times a day to find sources of information. We often call this research. It is also learning.
The problem with many Learning Management Systems is that they only work within the context of a company or educational institutions. All of us from students to professors to workers to CEO's use the entire World Wide Web world for our learning. With Web 2.0, we are also contributing daily through blogs and wikis and other tools.
The challenge now is that we need tools for managing all of this. RSS is one of the first tools. Ziff-Davis has just partnered with Intellext to release Content Finder which is also Intellext Watson. It is a context sensitive search tool that links to information on the web instantly as you work in a browser or tools like Word and PowerPoint. Check it out at http://www.intellext.com/partners/ziffdavis/?kc=EWWHNEMNL031507EOAD. This is a step in the right direction.