Good commentary! There are definitely some exciting innovations in education.
Just to pile on, I don’t think traditional vs. online education solutions need to be an either-or choice. Both offer value if leveraged in the right way. The traditional educational system helps build social skills that aren’t as easily gained from online platforms. Also, this may sound ridiculous but working on something boring/uninteresting is a great way for students to distill what they are passionate about. In my personal experience, I’ve found meaningful work mainly by going through experiences that I didn’t find as engaging.
Online solutions definitely provide a ton of value: custom curriculum, pacing, more in depth learning analytics, etc, but lack the social component of traditional schooling.
I’d love to see a hybrid model that’s focused around experiential learning and creation. Empower students to pursue entrepreneurial passions, like the students you mentioned, through online/digital curriculum and in-person support from a mentor and other classmates. Help students learn how to work together to accomplish a goal, solve a problem, or build something. This sounds idealistic, but something I would love to see.