Students collaborating with each other is a fine idea. In my experience, however, it’s not the way the world works. I am told by my students who are now in college and the workplace that they end up doing all the work in any collaborative group of which they are part. Furthermore, I have experienced this myself.
Online or independent study will work for some students but not all. It is essential to define at what level this technique will be used. It could work seamlessly at the high school and college levels. However, at the middle level (Grades 5–8) it would be difficult to implement. Students aged 11–14 are still learning how to function in society. Thus, the “sage on the stage” is needed to demonstrate discipline, skills, and to teach content. Socialization is key component in that process.
The change suggested is coming. Change is inevitable, predictable, and usually beneficial. Society must guide change so it doesn’t lose the useful parts of the old while embracing the new.