Sometimes "book" knowledge is not the only applicable solution to a problem, and real, direct experience is a much better solution in situations such as these. As Foley concludes, "The aim will be to mine the implicit knowledge of practitioners rather than the explicit knowledge of the textbook, through a process of storytelling and the building of communities of practice" (Foley). This seems to take distance education in a full circle from where it started. It began as a way for a more diverse population to experience higher and continuing education, it has moved on to be a major source of higher education at many institutions, and in the future, it may alter yet again to bring vital education to a diverse population that can use it to better their lives.
Foley's view certainly only looks at one aspect of distance education, but it is an important aspect, because it holds such promise for the future. It is not difficult to believe that distance education could swing into that area and really set the pace for what some would call technical or non-traditional education. It seems certain that distance education will continue to be a vital part of the educational process, and that more institutions will embrace distance education in the future. Americans (and the world) are increasingly dependent on technology and technological solutions to their busy lifestyles, and it simply makes sense that more people will take advantage of distance education instead of traditional on-campus opportunities. Therefore, distance education will continue to grow in the future, and it will continue to diversify and blend with society's needs to create new forms of delivery and education. There is no reason to believe that distance education cannot grow to be what Foley envisions, in fact, there is no reason to think distance education cannot accomplish anything the minds of its developers can conceive and produce.