Having been around in the e-learning or computer based learning business for nearly a quarter of a century, I've seen lots of private and public sector initiatives. There's been good and bad from both sides.
In the public sector I make a distinction between 'Turtle' and 'Fruit fly' initaitives. Turtles, although sometimes a little dull, mature steadily and have longevity. Fruit flies, however, breed like crazy but die soon after they're born.
Public sector turtles would include:
Ubiquity of secondary school education
Abolition of the 11+
1992 expansion of Universities
Janet and Superjanet
Public sector fruit flies:
Whole language literacy
BBC Doomesday project
Individual Learning Acccounts
Give me turtles anytime. By the way, Blair is a fruit fly sort of guy - Brown I'd call a Turtle!