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Advanced learning technologies have been touted for six decades as either a cost-effective or an exciting new way to provide real benefits to a wide audience. Yet, even given some stellar exceptions, the broader promise is demonstrably false. This paper attempts to disentangle the good from the bad, pointing out examples of what works, what fails, and why. Signposts for a (possibly) bright future are provided, building upon the Open Educations Resources movement and social software.