His mistake was equating hype with falsehood—it's true that at the time people were predicting that you would do anything and everything over the Internet, and clearly that will not be the case anytime soon. However with technology as powerful as the Internet, it was crazy to assume that it would not change the way we live in any significant ways. Even trying to predict the things that wouldn't change proved to be an insurmountable obstacle for this guy.
I wouldn't say the Internet dominated newspapers so much as newspapers imploded, and the web didn't. Stoll's perspective that the Internet won't replace high value content and human interaction any time soon was on the mark. He said that when I was just getting a 14.4kbit modem, and 15 years later I have an always on 15mbit connection that I use to wander the web aimlessly looking for well edited, relevant content. The good old things are gone, but where are the good new things? I think that we're still in the hype.
So he got the newspaper thing (partially) wrong. The government hasn't changed, nor has education. The truth of the education thing is this: you can learn anything on your own, but a teacher can tell you in 20 minutes what might take you a month to figure out by yourself. Government will take a long time to change. And (many) more people still rely on mainstream media outlets for their news than any other source (though they may get their news from said media outlet's online presence, rather than their print one.
A teacher who is obstinate in pressing mistaken notions on students can also undo in twenty minutes a month of the students gaining correct understanding by themselves.
What in-person teachers plainly provide better than online teachers is baby-sitting. What they usually do with more regulatory acceptance than online teachers is provide seat-time credentials.
for some critiques of school from the same era as the submitted article.
Mentorship. That's what makes teaching useful.
I'm talking about good teachers, not cheap public high-school instructors.
Also, I disagree that most people will get their news from mainstream sources - personally with the recent Haiti situation I got far more up-to-the-minute news breaks from Facebook, Twitter, and other such sources than I ever got from CNN and the likes. In fact, I would say breaking news is something large news organizations are likely to lose entirely. Nowadays my only mainstream media consumption is almost entirely well-written essays and analyses on things, not raw reporting on a recent event. I predict as the "physical media" generation ages, and the young grow up with the internet being pervasive in their lives, this pattern will only continue to grow.
No, that point wasn't even remotely valid, either. At least, not outside K12 education. Higher-ed teachers aren't being replaced by software, but by video lectures and peer groups.
Anyone who can't learn (for instance) math with Khan Academy and Wolfram Alpha wasn't going to learn it anyway, with or without a teacher.